COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Florida Fish and Wildlife officers tell WINK News, a boater spotted two dozen pilot whales stranded on Kice Island, less than 10 miles from Marco Island. Officers said it's likely those whales have been there for more than 24 hours, pushed ashore after our recent coldfront.
"They came in on the high seas," said Blair Mase.
16 females and 9 males were found dead. Biologists said they're the same whales first spotted in Gordon Pass in Collier County on Sunday. Blair Mase, the Stranding Coordinator for NOAA's southeast region said those mammals were emaciated and looked tired. WINK News has exclusive video from Monday, when those whales were again spotted, this time off Marco Island. As of Thursday night, crews are working on a plan to take the whales away. That plan includes a team of biologists who will further analyze the mammals and perform necropsies.
WINK News is learning it can take months to get the results from the necropsies. NOAA said Thursday night, they're checking with the Nacy to see if there was any recent sonar activity in the Gulf that may have thrown off the whales naviation and confused them.