A rare dead Bryde's whale was recovered
© Everglades National Park
A rare dead Bryde's whale was recovered Tuesday in Everglades National Park.
Scientists pulled a rare whale from Florida Bay this week, a 38-foot Bryde's whale that had washed up on an island in Everglades National Park.

The Bryde's whale is uncommon here; researchers say there are only a few dozen in the Gulf of Mexico.

"This animal is a very important specimen," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokeswoman Blair Mase-Guthrie. "There's thought to be less than 100 in the Gulf of Mexico, and it's the only whale that lives year-round in the Gulf of Mexico."

The cause of death is unknown.

Mase-Guthrie said the whale will eventually end up at the Smithsonian Institute.

Pronounced like Brutus the Popeye's character, the Bryde's whale was taken out of the water Tuesday at Everglades National Park's Flamingo boat ramp in Monroe County.

On Wednesday, biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the park did an impromptu necropsy. They took samples of various tissue, performed other tests and helped bury the carcass near the ramp.

Mase-Guthrie said it will be dug up later this year before being transported to the famous museum.

"It's that valuable, this specimen," she said. "While it's very sad that it's dead it's still a lot of value to us."