A total of 10 pilot whales have died, and another 41 remain stranded in a remote area of Everglades National Park, officials said Wednesday afternoon. Necropsies are being conducted on the beached whales to try to determine their cause of death and find clues on why they ended up beached in the area.A team that arrived on the scene Wednesday morning found six whales dead, and they were forced to euthanize four through sedation as a humane option, NOAA Fisheries Southeast marine mammal stranding coordinator Blair Mase said.
According to a report on CNN The outlook for dozens of short-finned pilot whales stranded in shallow water off Florida’s Everglades National Park “does not look good,” wildlife officials said Wednesday.
“We want to set the expectations low” that the 41 remaining stranded whales can be saved, said Blair Mase, a marine mammal scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The swimming whales do not show any signs of injury or trauma, but there is not a lot of time to save them, Mase said. The whales are out of their normal home range, and they may be dehyrdrated or malnourished, she added.
Survival ‘expectation low’ for whales stranded in Florida’s Everglades park.
They are in Monroe County near Highland Beach, which is the western boundary of Everglades National Park. The closest deep water is about 20 miles west. In between are sandbars and channels that would be very difficult for the whales to navigate on their own.
But efforts to herd the close-knit animals out of the area, which is about an hour from the nearest boat ramp, have not been successful so far.
There will be a multi-day effort to rescue the animals that would last at least through Thursday and possibly Friday. But sadly expectations are low, the goal is to save the whales, but most mass strandings do not have successful outcomes.
The goal will be to keep the whales alive during low tide, then when high tide comes in, crews will try to get them back into the sea.
The whales, who scientists say appeared confused, were originally spotted around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday near Highland Beach by rangers and workers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Sadly the outlook does not ultimately look good for the remaining 41 live whales.
Effort To Save 41 Stranded Pilot Whales In The Florida Everglades Continues