Ailment of beached SC whale still unclear

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Officials still aren't sure what sickened a pygmy sperm whale that washed ashore in Myrtle Beach and was later put to death.

A team of veterinarians and marine specialists discovered during a necropsy Monday that the animal had a heart condition. But officials told local media outlets more testing is needed to see how the animal died.

The whale washed onto the beach Sunday evening. A veterinarian was called and determined the whale was too sick to rehabilitate. But it took several hours, and police say beachgoers were unhappy that so little was being done.

Police say state and federal laws prevent people who aren't experts from handling beached whales because they can spread disease or hurt others.

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