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Environment

Whale Responders Are Cautiously Optimistic

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Everglades National Park

There’s cautious optimism that some of the pilot whales seen in very shallow water Tuesday in a remote area of the Everglades National Park have moved out to sea.

At a briefing Friday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association spokeswoman Blair Mase said when Coast Guard helicopters took a count this morning, 24 whales were not sighted.

“It’s encouraging that they can’t be found it my opinion,” she said.  “It may be that they’ve gone out to sea but we just don’t know.  If they were continue to move offshore that would be the best course of action for them and we are encouraged that that could have happened.

The Coast Guard reported that two whales were in water two to three feet deep and not active and seven were swimming nearby in about 12 feet of water.  So far, 11 pilot whales have died.

Mase said results of field necropsies won’t be available for weeks.