Published: Aug 24, 2010 8:44 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 24, 2010 5:44 PM EDT

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Marine mammal experts are examining an apparently injured sperm whale stranded in waters next to a South Beach marina.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday that the nine-foot long sperm whale appeared to have gashes in it's back and was just on the surface of the water next to the Miami Beach Marina.

The Coast Guard was providing security to help scientists and a veterinarian from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration examine the whale.

Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal biologist with NOAA Fisheries, says the whale is most probably a calf.

Helicopters are in the area searching for it's mother. If they are unable to find that whale, the calf could be euthanized as it wouldn't be able to survive in the wild on its own and isn't a rehab candidate.