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Biologists Monitor Pilot Whales Off SW Florida

Jan 21, 2014

The U.S. Coast Guard has stopped boat traffic in an area of southwest Florida where a pod of pilot whales stranded.

A Lee County Sheriff's boat floats near a stranded pilot whale in the News Pass area Monday.
Credit Andrew West / Associated Press

On Monday, two whales died and two others were euthanized after beaching themselves south of Lover's Key near Fort Myers.

The News-Press of Fort Myers reports officials saw one whale swim out to the Gulf of Mexico on Monday evening. At least nine others remained Monday night.

Blair Mase, a regional stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service, says necropsies will be performed on the dead whales. She says the surviving whales are listless and emaciated.

Farther south, officials were monitoring another two dozen pilot whales off the coast of Collier County.

In December, more than 50 pilot whales stranded in Everglades National Park, some of whom died.