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A short-finned pilot whale found in July on a Dixie County beach was released at sea earlier this week.
The 725-pound whale was transported to SeaWorld Orlando for rehab and treatment. She was able to swim without assistance and started eating fish within a day of arriving at the facility.
The whale was released 140 miles off Florida’s west coast in an area that is known to include numerous pilot whales, SeaWorld said in a release. The species live in deep water and travel in pods.
“We all watched her strongly swim away,” shared Dr. Lara Croft, a veterinarian at SeaWorld Orlando, in a statement. “This story has been a true collaboration and we worked together with many dedicated partners. We are proud to be a part of this rescue, rehabilitation and successful release. This truly is why we all do what we do.”
The whale, which a U.S. Coast Guard crew named “Gale,” was tagged with a satellite-linked transmitter so that her dive patterns can be tracked.