Ten pilot whales die and dozens more risk being beached as they swim into shallow water at the Everglades National Park in Florida.
Wildlife workers in boats struggled to coax nearly four dozen pilot whales out of dangerous shallow waters in Florida’s Everglades National Park, hoping to spare them the fate of 10 others that have already died.
Four of the whales had to be euthanised and six others had already died, said Blair Mase, the marine mammal stranding network coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
At least three could be seen on the beach, out of the water.
Park spokeswoman Linda Friar said rescuers were trying to surround the whales with boats about 75 feet from shore and nudge them out of the roughly 3-foot-deep salt water back to sea. But she said, they “are not cooperating.”
Workers tried to nudge the whales out to sea a day earlier with no success. The whales are stranded in a remote area that takes more than an hour to reach by boat from the nearest boat ramp.
NOAA said the rescue situation is challenging because of where the whales are.
Officials typically have access to heavy equipment to rescue stranded whales, but that is not an option in their current location.
Furthermore, the area is so shallow that it is difficult to get the mammals enough water to propel them back to sea.
Officials do not know how long the whales been stranded or how they got there.
The whales usually swim together in large groups and tend to follow a dominant male leader, so it is not uncommon for multiple whales to get stranded at once.