Dec 4. (UPI) -- A pod of around 30 whales were found trapped in shallow waters of Highland Beach off the coast of Florida's Everglades National Park.
Park rangers were alerted to the whales' condition by fishermen. When the officials reached the spot they found nine whales beached onshore and successfully pushed five back into the water. The other four whales had died by then.
The rest of the whales are still in the shallow waters unable to swim free.
"The water is really shallow and they haven’t been able to swim back to sea," said park spokesperson Linda Friar. "We're working right now to try to get them out, but it could take some time."
Experts from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, park rangers and volunteers are trying to keep the whales wet and cool and waiting for the tides to rise so that the whales can swim to safety.
Friar said that the whales are believed to be short-finned pilot whales but cannot confirm it until biologists inspect the four carcasses. She also said this type of whale is common to the area and has a tendency to re-beach itself.
[Miami Herald] [CBS Miami]