UK & World News

  • 5 December 2013, 2:43

Ten Whales Die As Dozens Stranded In Everglades

Federal officials said 10 pilot whales have died after stranding in shallow water in a remote area of Florida's Everglades National Park.

Blair Mase of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said 46 whales were swimming in about 3ft (less than a metre) of water.

Four of the whales had to be euthanised, and six others had already died.

Wildlife workers in boats struggled to coax the still-living whales into deeper waters.

A park spokesperson said rescuers tried to surround the whales with boats and nudge them back to sea.

The spokesperson said the whales were not cooperating.

Mr Mase said the whales are short fin pilot whales that are known to inhabit deep water, "so they are very out of their home range".

The NOAA said the rescue situation was challenging because of the remoteness of the area, which takes more than an hour to reach by boat.

On Tuesday, officials found the whales beached or stranded in a remote area of the park near Highland Beach in northern Monroe County.

Everglades National Park spokeswoman Linda Friar said: "It's potentially confused, maybe agitated or tired after a stressful experience."

Mr Mase said pilot whales usually swim in large groups and are one of the most common mass strandings "because they are a cohesive species".

"This scenario is very challenging because of where they are."