JUNO BEACH, Fla. — Officials say a young sperm whale had to be euthanized after becoming beached in Florida.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the one-ton, 15-foot-long (900-kilogram, 5-meter) whale was first spotted Wednesday near the Juno Beach Pier.

About 100 people gathered to watch rescuers try to save the female whale, believed to be less than a year old.

Wendy Marks, a biologist with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation in Fort Pierce, says the whale was extremely sick, and they didn’t want to let her suffer.

Fully grown female sperm whales can grow to up 40 feet (12 meters) long.

Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com

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