Pilot Whales Stranded in Everglades

Whales beached on Gulf Coast

pilot whale.

A pilot whale.     Photo: NOAA/Wikimedia

09:51 a.m. December 5

NOAA reported that there were 51 whales stranded in the area. As of Wednesday afternoon Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator from NOAA fisheries Blair Mase told CBS Miami that 41 whales remain in free-swimming in the area. Vets determined that four were in extremely poor health and were euthanized, the others died when beached onshore. 

The pod remains in shallow water off the coast of the Everglades, and wildlife officials will attempt to heard the whales back to deep water, some 20 miles off the coast.

10:30 a.m. December 4

A pod of pilot whales is stranded in a remote area of Everglades National Park. Between 20 and 30 whales are beached on Highland Beach or in the shallow water offshore. At least four whales have already been confirmed dead.

The whales were initially spotted yesterday afternoon, and a rescue operation composed of Everglades rangers and workers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are currently working to get the whales back into the Gulf of Mexico. Rescue crews will attempt to keep the whales alive during the low tide today and prode the animals back into the ocean during high tide. According to NOAA, the tide is expected to peak at 3.6 feet at approximately 2:56 p.m. EST.

Raw video from NBC Miami

However, getting all the whales back to sea will be extremely difficult.

"Euthanasia might be the most humane option. The animals could be compromised," NOAA marine mammal scientist Blair Mase told NBC Miami. In November, a whale beached sperm whale off the coast of Tampa was euthanized.

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