Whale

(Photo courtesy Twitter)

DOCKWEILER STATE BEACH –A roughly 25-foot gray whale washed ashore and died on Dockweiler State Beach south of Marina Del Rey.

Lifeguards with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the scene at about 4 p.m. The whale was alive for a time, but was thin and malnourished.

Peter Wallerstein, president and founder of Marine Animal Rescue, said the whale likely washed up because it was sick. "When they get sick, they beach themselves to prevent from drowning,'' Wallerstein said. ``But they don't know that beaching themselves is even worse because it puts a lot of pressure on their bodies.''

 County lifeguards and experts from Marine Animal Rescue and Marine Mammal Care Los Angeles tending to the scene initially left the whale in place on orders from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, which is responsible for the stewardship of the nation's ocean resources and their habitat, according to the LAFD.

Authorities hoped that leaving the whale for a tidal cycle would eventually return it to deeper waters, according to the LAFD. "Any attempt to tow the animal would most likely result in critical injury," the fire department said.

Wallerstein said the whale's corpse will likely be left in place until tomorrow morning, at which point investigators will perform a necropsy before it is towed away.

7:30 p.m. - The Los Angeles Fire Department said lifeguards will remain in the area throughout the evening and provide support for the beached whale. 

6:52 p.m.- County Supervisor Janice Hahn says that beached whale at Dockweiler State Beach is still alive but thin and malnourished. Marine Animal Rescue and Marine Mammal Care Los Angeles experts are on the scene with county lifeguards. She says the current plan is to wait for the tide to come in as towing the roughly 25-foot gray whale back out would risk hurting it.

5:00 p.m. Lifeguards and other marine rescuers are working together to get a whale back into the ocean after it washed ashore, according to CBS 2.

The roughly 25-foot gray whale was on Dockweiler State Beach south of Marine Del Rey, the report said.

Wildlife experts were trying to help the whale around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Progress was made by 5 p.m. when the whale was moved from the sand into shallow waters.

The condition of the whale was not immediately clear.