Conditions Improving for Beached Whales

The two whales that were rescued from a Waveland beach are being treated at the Institute for Marine Mammals Studies.
Researchers and marine vets are providing around the clock care for the two melon-headed whales that were rescued after washing up on the beach Tuesday.
One whale suffered sunburn and received laser therapy and honey to help heal the wounds. The other was dehydrated and was pumped fluids to stabilize his health. Relief Vet Debra Moore said, “We treated them with injectable antibiotics. We gave them pain medication, especially the one with the sunburn on the side. We gave anti-inflammatories and they seem to be responding because the first day they were here they were floating and today they’re swimming on their own.”
Staff members at the Institute for Marine Mammals Studies are thrilled to see the whales’ health improving.
This is the first whale rescue the facility has seen. Eric Pulis, a marine conservation ecologist, said, “Usually, we don’t get live stranded animals to begin with and then to have two at the same time and have them be unusual species is pretty exciting for us.”
Researchers have to wear an eye mask, face guard, and gloves to protect themselves from any diseases the whales may carry. “Because we don’t know their health status,” said Moore, “You know cetaceans, or dolphins and whales, have a blowhole on the top of their head versus our nose, so when they breathe out, the aerosol goes out, so it’s just a precautionary measure to make sure we protect ourselves as well.”
Even though the two whales are showing improvements, staff members say there’s no telling when they will be healthy enough to return to their deep water habitat out in the Gulf.
The whales’ health conditions have improved since their treatment began on Tuesday. Staff members are hoping to release the animals back into deep water as soon as they fully recover.

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