News

Dozens of whales beached in Florida’s Everglades

Dozens of whales beached in Florida’s Everglades

BEACHED WHALES: Officials in boats monitor the scene where dozens of pilot whales are stranded in shallow water in a remote area of Florida's Everglades National Park, Wednesday, Dec. 4. Photo: Associated Press/Lynne Sladky

By Jane Sutton

MIAMI (Reuters) – Ten whales have died and rescuers were trying to save dozens more that beached in Everglades National Park in southwest Florida, park and wildlife officials said on Wednesday.

Forty-one whales were swimming freely in shallow waters near shore as rescuers tried with little success to coax them out into deeper water. Wildlife officers euthanized four whales because they could not be saved, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said.

NOAA said via Twitter that survival rates were typically low in such instances.

The whales were first sighted on Tuesday afternoon in a remote part of the park near the Gulf of Mexico, park spokeswoman Linda Friar said.

They were believed to be short-finned pilot whales, typically found in deep water in tropical and temperate areas. Biologists will perform necropsies on the dead whales to try to determine why they were stranded, NOAA said.

“Pilot whales are common stranders. They tend to do this,” Friar said. When rescued, she said, “they tend to rebeach themselves.”

“This area of the park is probably the most challenging for something like this. When the tide goes out, there’s hundreds of yards of very shallow shoals,” Friar said.

Short-finned pilot whales typically travel in pods of 25 to 30 animals. Adults weigh 2,200 to 6,600 pounds (1,000 to 3,000 kg), with females averaging 12 feet long and males averaging 18 feet long, according to NOAA.

Recent Headlines

today in Viral Videos

It’s not Pitbull, it’s Amy Poehler

amy

Do you think she fooled anyone?

today in Entertainment

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o named ‘most beautiful’

people

The actress was named as the world's most beautiful woman for 2014 by "People" magazine.

today in Lifestyle

Travel through time on Google maps

google

Google is now offering trips down memory lane on its digital maps.

today in Entertainment

‘Peeps’ coming to a big screen in marshmallow movie

peeps

The film focuses on the sugary confections as they prepare to be judged at the annual Peeps diorama contest.

today in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Brian Williams raps ‘Gin & Juice’

birna

After he leaves the "NBC Nightly News," Brian Williams might have a future in music.