The whale was still alive when lifeguards responded to the scene just after 4 p.m., but the L.A. County Fire Department's Lifeguard Division announced in the evening the animal died.
County lifeguards said it had been ordered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries to leave the whale alone in hopes that it would have been able to find its way back into the ocean.
*Update* #GillisIC - At the direction of @NOAAFisheries, @MARescue and @LACoLifeguards will leave the whale in place for a tidal cycle in hopes that it will be able to return to deeper water. Any attempt to tow the animal would most likely result in critical injury. pic.twitter.com/Ezz8Cb992r— LACoFD Lifeguards (@LACoLifeguards) March 18, 2021
Authorities hoped that leaving the whale for a tidal cycle would eventually return it to deeper waters, and that towing the animal would "most likely result in critical injury."
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."
City News Service contributed to this report.