Biologists Monitor Pilot Whales Off SW Florida

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Wildlife officials are monitoring dozens of pilot whales spotted in shallow waters off southwest Florida.

Kim Amendola of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service says one whale has died and three others are stranded near shore in Lee County. More than a dozen other whales are swimming nearby, and an additional 12 whales had been spotted farther offshore earlier Monday.

Meanwhile, state wildlife officials were monitoring roughly two dozen other pilot whales in the waters off Collier County. Amendola says those whales were the same pod that swam into shallow waters off Naples on Sunday. A few beached themselves temporarily before being able to swim out to deeper waters with the tides.

Pilot whales usually swim in deep waters, but the species is commonly involved in mass strandings.

(© Copyright 2014 4he Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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