Beached melon-headed whale euthanized on Maui

Marine wildlife officials are trying to figure out what caused a melon-headed whale to beach itself on Maui.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were notified Tuesday morning that the mammal was in shallow waters in Kihei.

Beachgoers tried to push the animal back into the water three times, but each time the whale beached itself again.

When crews got there, they determined it was best to euthanize the whale.

"The body condition was significantly compromised. It was listing in the water and unable to keep itself right side up on its own, which would mean it would have difficulty breathing at the surface on its own," said marine mammal response specialist Aliza Milette-Winfree.

The whale was an 8-and-a-half foot melon-headed whale weighing about 300 pounds.

It will be brought to Oahu, where a necropsy will be done to determine what made it sick.

Video footage provided by Scot Prince via

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