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

in Local Sports

Bellingham to host 2015 WCL All-Star Game

Fresh
Bells logo on field

The Bellingham Bells are pleased to announce that the City of Bellingham and the Bells will host the 2015 West Coast League All-Star Game.

in Local Sports

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

Fresh
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right, laughs as he stands with Marshawn Lynch at a football minicamp practice Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Renton, Wash.

Marshawn Lynch has joined Seattle Seahawks training camp after missing the first week.

in Sports

Florida State tops preseason Amway coaches’ poll

Fresh
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston throws a pass before an NCAA college football game against Miami Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Rounding out the top five were Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn with the first-ever playoff looming at the end season.

in Sports

Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

Dustin Johnson of the US plays a shot on the 17th fairway during the second day of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Friday July 18, 2014.

In a statement Thursday from Hambric Sports Management, the 30-year-old Johnson said his leave of absence was effective immediately.

in Sports

Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

Tiger Woods answers questions at his news conference during the final practice day for the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Akron, Ohio.

Woods made six birdies Thursday to open with a 2-under 68 at the Bridgestone Invitational, just four shots behind Marc Leishman.