|Published:||Jan 21, 2014 8:48 PM EST|
|Updated:||Jan 21, 2014 11:15 PM EST|
LOVER'S KEY, Fla.- After two days, four whales are dead from natural causes, another four were euthanized. The focus on the investigation now, what caused the whales to strand themselves along the coast of Southwest Florida?
"And for some stranding events, you know we just don;t ever know the cause."
Right now, doctors are starting necropsies. Dr. Erin Fougeres, a Marine Mammal Biologist with NOAA, said their case could take months. And each whale may have suffered from something different.
"At this point they're all suffering from the fact that they've been stranded here for more than 24 hours," said Dr. Fougeres.
But why did they end up here?
"They can be sick for all the same reasons people can be sick."
WINK News ran through the option: was it those water releases from Lake Okeechobee that made them sick?
"That could certainly impact bottlenose dolphin health, or animals you see right up next to the coast."
Doctor Fougeres said another factor may have been Red Tide or the whales could have had problems finding food. Although biologists admit the group was not as emciated as another pod, found in Collier County this week.
"Pilot whales feed primarily on deep squid and on fish, but I can't say we know enough about their prey base to be able to say thats what's going on here."
Doctors also want to see if military sonar may have thrown off the whales navigation.
"Sonar has been shown to be a cause of mass strandings, for species of whales and dolphins, so that's of course something we'll look at," said Dr. Fougeres.
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