Dozens of pilot whales are stranded in the Florida Everglades with at least 10 of the whales now dead. According to ABC News on Dec. 4, four of the 10 dead whales had to be euthanized today, while six others had already died.
The whales, which are stranded in about three feet of water, are not responding to the attempts of the rescuers to coax them out into deeper water. Pilot whales travel in pods, so you usually find them in groups when they are stranded.
Marine experts are trying to determine what brought the whales into the shallow waters of the Florida Everglades. The whales have beached themselves along the coast of this national park, but the reason for their plight is unknown.
The whales, which look to be short-finned pilot whales, are swimming in shallow water off the shoreline of Highland Beach in Monroe County. They are about three-quarters of a mile off shore.
The first call about beached whales came into the Everglades National Park on Tuesday. The caller said four whales had beached themselves. When the park rangers arrived to investigate, nine whales had made it to shore. Five of the creatures were pushed back into the water by rescuers, but four of the pilot whales were dead.
Four different government agencies are now involved in this investigation. People from NOAA, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Marine Mammal Conservancy, and Marine Animal Response Society have banded together to help the whales and investigate what is causing this mass beaching, according to CBS Local News today.
The whales are in a remote part of the Everglades Park, so it is making it tough for the rescuers and people investigating the incident to get there. The goal today is to try and keep the whales cool and wet and hopefully they will swim back out to deeper water on the high tide.
This type of whale is known to re-beach itself after being rescued and pilot whales have made their way to the Everglades before.