LEE COUNTY, FL.- Eight pilot whales have died after stranding themselves in New Pass just south of Lovers Key State Park. Four of the eight whales were euthanized.
The Coast Guard has a slow speed zone enforced in the area while they search for the other six remaining whales, which belong to a pod of originally 14.
Experts from FWC and NOAA have been on the scene all Tuesday morning pulling the dead whales from the water. Necropsies will be performed on the whales to find out the cause of death.
A separate pod is swimming two miles off the coast of Marco Island and is heading south. 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. Officials with NOAA said those whales appeared to be ill and were described as being thin and don’t appear to be eating.