Mass stranding of pilot whales found in Everglades City

Author: Steve Patrick, Managing editor of digital content, spatrick@news4jax.com
Published On: Dec 04 2013 09:35:04 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 04 2013 11:22:57 AM EST
Mass stranding of whales
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. -

Wildlife officials are heading to a remote area of Everglades National Park to help pilot whales stranded in shallow water.

On Tuesday, officials found 20 to 30 short fin pilot whales either beached or stranded in waters in a remote area of the park near Highland Beach in northern Monroe County.

Rangers helped some of the whales, but about 10 were beached late Tuesday.  The site is so remote, that crews launched on a one hour and a half boat ride from Flamingo and then had to walk about 200 yards through water to reach the whales.

Park spokeswoman Linda Friar says six of the whales were pushed back into the water, but four died.

She says park rangers, along with crews from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will help the whales again Wednesday.

The Marine Animal Rescue Society Wednesday morning asked for trained volunteers to assist in the rescue efforts.