Necropsies For 6 Of 25 Pilot Whales Found Dead

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

News Release: Associated Press News

Updated: January 24, 2014, 8:30pm

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (AP) -- Teams of biologists are investigating the deaths of 25 pilot whales in the shallow waters off southwest Florida.

Full necropsies were performed on six animals Friday, and officials found no obvious signs of human interaction. Boaters found the carcasses -- 16 females and nine males -- the day before on Kice Island.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service say the whales were part of a pod first spotted in the area Sunday. State wildlife officials marked some of the whales that had temporarily stranded near Naples, and the markings helped identify the marine mammals found near Marco Island.

The whales were found two days after eight other pilot whales died near Lover's Key State Park, about 40 miles north. Biologists say pilot whales are prone to mass strandings because they form close-knit pods that won't leave a sick whale behind.


News Release: Associated Press News

Updated: January 24, 2014, 4:30pm

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (AP) -- Teams of biologists are investigating the deaths of 25 pilot whales in the shallow waters off southwest Florida.

Necropsies began Friday morning on 16 males and nine females found on Kice Island. Boaters found the carcasses Thursday.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service say the whales were part of a pod first spotted in the area Sunday. State wildlife officials marked some of the whales that had temporarily stranded near Naples, and the markings helped identify the marine mammals found near Marco Island.

The whales were found two days after eight other pilot whales died near Lover's Key State Park, about 40 miles north. Biologists say pilot whales are prone to mass strandings because they form close-knit pods that won't leave a sick whale behind.


FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Wildlife officials say the death toll is mounting fora pilot whales along the southwest Florida coastline.

On Thursday, 25 dead whales were spotted near Kice Island south of Naples, near Marco Island. The News-Press of Fort Myers (http://bit.ly/1eiQ9tg) reports at least 33 pilot whales have been found dead in the area since Sunday.

Boaters spotted the whales on Thursday and alerted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Biologists suspect they'd been beached for about 24 hours.

State biologists are expected to begin necropsies on the whales Friday.


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