Ten pilot whales have died and at least 41 others remain stranded in the Florida Everglades after appearing in the area's shallow waters earlier this week. Six of the whales were found already dead and an additional four were euthanized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday.
The whales were found about 20 miles east of the deeper waters where they normally live. The remaining dozens of whales remain a prominent issue, since, according to the Associate Press:
This particular whale species is also known for its close-knit social groups, meaning if one whale gets stuck or stays behind, the others are likely to stay behind or even beach themselves as well.
Researchers are still unsure of exactly what brought the whales off-course, but hope to find out by performing autopsies in the next few days. Rescue efforts for the animals are particularly difficult since the whales are located an hour from either end of the national park and in an area with no cell phone reception.
The appearance of pilot whale pods is not entirely uncommon. In 2012 and 2011, pods of around two dozen each became stranded in shallow waters. In the 2012 incident, officials were only able to save five of the 22 total.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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