Authorities say one whale calf has been found dead on a beach on the Hawaii island of Maui near where 10 other whales were found stranded alive.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regional Marine Mammal Response Coordinator David Schofield said Thursday the calf was found about a mile north of the other melon-headed whales.
He says the calf is believed to be part of the same social grouping as the whales found alive.
Veterinarians euthanized four of the whales after determining they were in grave condition and nothing more could be done to save them.
The other six whales were refloated to the ocean. Schofield says the six came back ashore but eventually made it out to deeper water.
Officials monitored the area on Friday just in case they return.
“The last time we saw them, they seemed to be moving in a healthy manner to deeper waters. So it’s our hope that they got their bearings about them and were able to head out to sea,” Schofield said.
NOAA and University of Hawaii scientists will examine the whales to determine what caused the stranding.
Melon-headed whales are found in deep, tropical waters worldwide. They grow to be about 9 feet (3 metres) long and are named for the bulge in their foreheads.
Audrey McAvoy, The Associated Press