More Whales Found Dead in Florida

Outlook bleak for stranding survivors
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2013 11:57 PM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2013 2:15 AM CST
Dozens of pilot whales seen stranded in shallow water in a remote area of Florida's Everglades National Park.    (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
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(Newser) – Sad news on the pilot whales stranded in the Everglades: Eleven more whales from the pod stranded in shallow water have been found dead and rescuers don't believe there's much hope of finding the other 29 alive, reports CNN. The group was last seen alive Friday, when it was moving toward deeper water, but now, "given our knowledge of past mass pilot whales strandings, the outlook for finding the remaining whales alive is bleak," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.

The scientists are working to determine a cause of death for the whales, who are particularly prone to mass strandings because they are highly social and refuse to abandon sick or distressed podmates, Reuters notes. The whales will be tested for biotoxins but the dead whales found so far have had empty stomachs, suggesting they were in trouble even before they swam into shallow water.

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