Thirty-five pilot whales are swimming toward deeper waters, despite initial concerns that they would die after getting stranded off Florida's Everglades National Park.
About 51 pilot whales were stranded off the coast sometime Tuesday, according to news reports. Since then, 11 have died and five are missing. But as of today, the remaining 35 whales have begun to swim toward deep open water, where they need to live in order to survive, according to CNN. Wildlife officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the pod will complete the journey, but there are still plenty of miles to go. The US Coast Guard will continue to monitor the whales as the migration continues.
Wildlife officials were at a loss on how to migrate the pod from the coastline after multiple attempts to move them failed Wednesday. They didn’t believe the whales would survive. After using noise to try and coax the whale into deep water, rescuers decided to position boats across the shore to prevent the pod from swimming toward land, NOAA scientist Blair Mase told reporters. After that, the pod began to move toward open waters.
Watch Blood and Water, a new Whale Wars interactive episode that looks at whaling, whale conservation and offers never-before-seen footage. Make sure to watch the two-hour special Whale Wars: A Commander Rises, airing Friday, December 13 at 9PM EP!