Pod of pilot whales beaches in Florida

2012-09-02 18:58
Two stranded pilot whales in shallow waters in Florida. (Mariela Care, Florida Keys News Bureau /AFP)

Two stranded pilot whales in shallow waters in Florida. (Mariela Care, Florida Keys News Bureau /AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Fort Pierce - More than 20 pilot whales came ashore on a South Florida beach on Saturday, triggering a day long effort by state and national officials, nearby residents and others to save them.

By evening, five pilot whales - two calves and three juveniles - had been transported to Florida Atlantic University's Harbour Branch Institute for rehabilitation. The rest had died of natural causes or had to be humanely euthanased, said Allison Garrett, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries service.

"It was not possible to rehabilitate them," she told The Associated Press.

The pod of 22 whales came ashore on Saturday morning at Avalon Beach State Park in St Lucie County. They ranged from calves and juveniles to adult whales.

Garrett said it was unclear why the whales became stranded.

"Pilot whales are very social animals," she said. "One scenario could be one of the animals was sick. They won't leave [a sick whale]. They'll stay together."

For this reason, it's useless to push pilot whales back into the ocean, Blair Mase, stranding co-ordinator for NOAA's Southeast Region, told TCPalm.com.

"If you push them into the water, they'll just keep coming back and stranding themselves again," said Mase, who was surfing in the area when he noticed people running toward the beached whales.

TCPalm.com reported that hundreds of residents came to the beach to assist with the rescue, helping the animals turn upright so they could breathe better. Volunteers covered the whales with moist towels and poured water over them.

Red Cross volunteers helped ensure that volunteers stayed hydrated in the hot sun.

Still, there was a sad undercurrent to the efforts, with rescuers aware that most of the whales were dying.

Read more on:    us  |  animals  |  whales

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.