Tags: false | killer | whales | everglades | stranded

Everglades: False Killer Whales (Actually Dolphins) Get Stranded, Die

Image: Everglades: False Killer Whales (Actually Dolphins) Get Stranded, Die

A pod of false killer whales is stranded near the Florida Everglades in this Jan. 14, 2017, photo made available by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Jan 2017 04:08 PM

Biologists don’t know why a pod of about 95 false killer whales became stranded in Everglades National Park on Saturday, resulting in 81 deaths.

False killer whales look similar to orca killer whales but are actually a type of dolphin. They can grow to 20 feet long and weigh 1500 pounds, and when they do get stranded, it tends to be in large groups.

According to NBC Miami, only one of the 95 dolphins in the pod has been seen alive, with another 13 or 14 unaccounted for, officials said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries is investigating the incident, which saw the dolphins stranded near Hog Key, a one-and-a-half hour trip by boat from the main part of the park.

Because of the remoteness of the Everglades location, a rescue attempt could not be made quickly enough, and by the time rescuers reached the animals to move them to deeper water, many were embedded in the mangroves, or small trees that grow in mud flats and swamps, according to USA Today

Seventy-two dolphins died on their own and another eight had to be euthanized by rescuers, NBC Miami reported.

False killer whales have only been stranded in Florida three times in the species' known history.

“There was unfortunately not much that we could do for them. They were high and dry on very wide mud flats and trapped in mangroves. So it was a very unfortunate situation,” said Dr. Erin Fougeres of NOAA Fisheries, NBC Miami reported. She added the location was “very, very challenging.”

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Biologists don't know why a pod of about 95 false killer whales became stranded in Everglades National Park on Saturday, resulting in 81 deaths.
false, killer, whales, everglades, stranded
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2017-08-17
Tuesday, 17 Jan 2017 04:08 PM
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