NORTH CAROLINA COAST (WTVD) -- A juvenile sperm whale stranded on the beach near Jennette's Pier on the North Carolina coast is not in good health, the NC Aquarium of Roanoke Island says.
According to an early morning Facebook post by the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network (MMSN) on Wednesday, the whale was seen in a swash zone and they're unable to attempt to free it.
For safety reasons, they warned people in the area to stay out of the water. They said even though the whale is young, it is still heavy and could roll onto a person.
MMSN staff said they will continue to observe the animal from the pier and reassess at low tide.
Employees with the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island posted an update saying the mammal's health is declining and they'll likely humanely euthanize it and perform a necropsy. They can then try to learn more about the whale and to try and determine a cause for stranding. Marine Mammal team members from Virginia and North Carolina will be on-site Thursday for a thorough examination.
According to its website, Jeanette's Pier is just south of Nags Head. It's a very well-known and popular fishing area.
Whales are not seen often but do make appearances along the Outer Banks from time to time. In January of this year, Jan Tugwell shared video she captured of humpback whales breaching out of the water near the Cape Lookout Lighthouse.