Last week 51 pilot whales were stranded on the edge of Everglades National Park. Twenty-two of those whales are confirmed dead. Scientists are performing necropsies to find out the cause. The only commonality so far is that all the dead adult whales are female.
Some whales were spotted alive five nautical miles offshore. They were reportedly swimming slowly and in a disorganized fashion, which might suggest exhaustion, dehydration or malnutrition. Pilot whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but they are not endangered. Mass strandings by pilot whales are not uncommon in Florida.
Twenty-nine of the pod are still missing, and scientists are asking the public for help in finding them. Anyone who spots the whales in the waters off southern Florida are asked to call 877-WHALE-HELP.