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Authorities try to save 70-foot beached whale stranded off of Florida’s Venice coast

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities were working Sunday to help a sperm whale stranded off the coast of Venice, Florida.

According to the Venice Police Department, officers and Sarasota County deputies were working with the Mote Marine Laboratory to save the 70-foot whale, which was beached on a sandbar 50 yards away from Service Club Park.

As of Sunday night, the city of Venice said the whale was still alive but had labored breathing. FWC biologists were expected to resume their efforts Monday after Sunday’s high winds and surf.

Mote Marine Laboratory confirmed that the whale is a sperm whale.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission planned to collect samples to determine what made the whale sick.

However, around 4 p.m. Sunday, the city of Venice announced that the water conditions were “too dangerous” for the FWC to approach the distressed whale by boat to give the animal a sedative.

The city had said another assessment would be made at low tide Sunday evening but that officials weren’t optimistic about the result.

“Unfortunately, it appears this will likely be a recovery effort as nature takes its course,” the city wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

A perimeter had been set up to allow authorities to assess the whale’s condition at the site in Venice, about 75 miles south of Tampa.

A police Facebook post earlier Sunday had said the whale was 70 feet long. It was estimated to weigh approximately 50,000 to 70,000 pounds.

VPD was asking all vessels to stay out of the whale’s area at Service Club Park. Civilians were also advised to avoid the area.

The city said there would be a police presence at the beach overnight into Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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