|Published:||Jan 21, 2014 11:31 AM EST|
|Updated:||Jan 21, 2014 1:10 PM EST|
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Eight pilot whales have died after stranding themselves in New Pass, just south of Lovers Key State Park. Four have been euthanized.
FWC and the Lee County Sheriff's Office located two live whales around 10:00 a.m. and are assessing their conditions. The rest of the 14 whales unaccounted for.
FWC are searching by air and by boat to locate the missing whales.
A separate pod is swimming two miles off the coast of Marco Island and is heading south. Those whales are in poor condition. The whales are part of the same group of 23 that stranded themselves Sunday in Gordon Pass, Collier County. The pod swam into shallow waters after three whales in that pod beached themselves temporarily near a sandbar.
It is still unclear why this is happening, according to a NOAA scientist, who says the whales' natural habitat is 70 miles away.
In December, 50 pilot whales stranded themselves near Everglades National Park. Seven whales died and four had to be euthanized in that case.