Saturday, September 1 in the afternoon, a pod of 22 pilot whales stranded themselves in Ft. Pierce, Florida at Avalon Beach State Park (St. Lucie County). Members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Marine Mammal Conservancy, University of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Harbor Branch, SeaWorld, as well as many, many locals who were in the area tried to save as many of the whales as possible. Despite their best efforts, only 5 juvenile whales survived, two males and three females.
Pilot Whales form tight-knit groups. Scientists aren’t certain why some pods beach themselves, but the predominant theory is that the lead whale either becomes sick or injured, and they stick by him. Even when rescuers attempt to push whales back into the water, they re-beach themselves which is why transport of the surviving whales was necessary.
According to a SeaWorld statement, “The goal is for the whales to transition to SeaWorld Orlando for long-term care, and ultimately be returned back to the ocean.”
If you see an injured or orphaned marine animal, call the FWC hotline at 1-888-404-3922 or dial *FWC on a mobile device.