Dozens of whales stranded in Everglades National Park

11:39 AM, Dec 4, 2013   |    comments
Dozens of whales seen stranded in the Everglades on Wed., Dec. 4, 2013. (WTVJ)
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MIAMI (WTVJ) -- A pod of 20-30 pilot whales has been stranded in shallow waters in a remote area of Everglades National Park, officials said.

The whales were spotted around 2 p.m. Tuesday near Highland Beach, according to Everglades National Park spokeswoman Linda Friar.

Friar said rangers and workers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration responded and found 10 beached whales and the others in shallow waters nearby.

Four of the whales died but the workers were able to get six back into the water, Friar said.

The workers left for the night and were returning Wednesday to try to assist the remaining whales. Four boats and a crew of 15 were heading to the remote spot, Friar said.

Friar said the shallow water was making it difficult to get the whales back out to sea.

"It's so shallow at low tide for such a long distance it makes it more difficult to get the whales to an area where they can swim away," Friar said.

It's not unusual for the whales to end up in the shallow waters, which stretch for hundreds of yards, Friar said.

"The thing about these whales, as the day heats up they'll have to keep them wet," she said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is assisting the rangers and NOAA in the rescue effort.

"The agencies are coming together to do what they can," Friar said.


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(WTVJ Miami)<./em>

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