A scientist will examine an apparently injured sperm whale who is in waters next to a South Beach marina.
The Coast Guard was providing a security zone to help scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration examine the whale.
The whale was spotted splashing around by itself Tuesday afternoon. No other whales were seen in the area and officials think the whale was separated from its parents somehow.
Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal biologist with NOAA Fisheries, says the whale is most probably a calf. Helicopters are in the area searching for it's mother. If they are unable to find that whale, the calf could be euthanized as it wouldn't be able to survive in the wild on its own and isn't a rehab candidate.
It's unclear how the whale made its way so close to shore. The sea mammals usually live in the open ocean where they dive to deep depths to catch food.