Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

10 whales dead, dozens stranded in Everglades

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK — Wildlife workers in boats struggled unsuccessfully Wednesday to coax nearly four dozen pilot whales out of dangerous shallow waters in Everglades National Park, hoping to spare them the fate of 10 others that already had died.

The workers suspended their efforts after dark, but planned to return this morning to try again, said Kim Amendola, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is taking part in the effort.

Six of the whales were found dead, and four of the whales had to be euthanized Wednesday, said Blair Mase, coordinator for NOAA's marine mammal stranding network.

Park spokeswoman Linda Friar said rescuers were trying to surround the whales, which were in roughly 3 feet of saltwater about 75 feet from shore, and herd them back to sea.

"They are not cooperating," Friar said.

The whales are stuck in a remote area near Highland Beach, the western boundary of Everglades National Park and about 20 miles east of where they normally live. It takes more than an hour to reach the spot from the nearest boat ramp and there is no cellphone service, complicating rescue efforts.

"We want to set the expectation low, because the challenges are very, very difficult," Mase said.

Short-finned pilot whales typically live in very deep water. Even if rescuers were able to begin nudging the 41 remaining whales out to sea, Mase said they would encounter a series of sandbars and patches of shallow water along the way.

This particular whale species is also known for its close-knit social groups, meaning if one whale gets stuck or stays behind, the others are likely to stay behind or even beach themselves as well.

"It would be very difficult for the whales to navigate out on their own," Mase said.

Federal officials were notified about the whales Tuesday around 4 p.m. Because of the remote location, workers were unable to access the site before dark. They arrived Wednesday morning and discovered 45 whales still alive.

"There were some that were very compromised and in very poor condition," Mase said.

Four were euthanized with sedatives, and more could be killed today if their condition deteriorates, Mase said.

She described the remaining whales as swimming and mobile but said scientists don't know how long they have been out of the deep, colder water they are accustomed to and could be affected by secondary consequences, such as dehydration.

"I don't think we have a lot of time," Mase said.

Necropsies were being done Wednesday on the deceased whales. Scientists will look for disease or other signs to indicate how whales got stuck in the shallow Everglades waters.

   
Comments

Uber engaged in "illegal’ spying on rivals, ex-employee says

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Uber spied on key executives, drivers and employees at rival ride-hailing companies as part of a larger intelligence-gathering operation that spanned multiple countries, according to a letter made public in a federal court ...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Tampa International Airport hasn’t suffered an Atlanta-style loss of power, but it is prepared for one

Tampa International Airport hasn’t suffered an Atlanta-style loss of power, but it is prepared for one

TAMPA — Tampa International Airport sees about one-fifth as many passengers as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, but a major power outage here could cause disruptions to air travel, too.That said, TIA has taken steps to create "redund...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Editorial: Steaks, planes and campaign cash reveal Corcoran’s hypocrisy

Editorial: Steaks, planes and campaign cash reveal Corcoran’s hypocrisy

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran lives the high life. He’s raising big money for the state Republican Party and his political committee, and the cash is being spent on junkets to Napa Valley, charter planes and steak dinners. Lots of steak dinn...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Editorial: Modest improvements to unneeded tax cut package

Editorial: Modest improvements to unneeded tax cut package

The massive tax cut legislation Congress is poised to start voting on today remains terrible public policy. It raises the federal debt by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade, and it primarily benefits businesses and the wealthy over the poor...
Updated: 16 minutes ago

St. Pete woman killed in Tampa crash trying to avoid dog on I-275

TAMPA — A dog that ran onto northbound Interstate 275 caused a chain-reaction crash that killed a 70-year-old St. Pete Beach woman on Monday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 10:45 a.m. on I-275, north o...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

 
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Florida grand jury investigates FSU frat pledge’s death

Florida grand jury investigates FSU frat pledge’s death

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A grand jury is meeting to consider filing charges in the death of a Florida State University fraternity pledge.The Leon County grand jury on Monday interviewed Florida State administrators and those who were at a party with ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Land O’Lakes teacher faces felony child abuse charge

LAND O’LAKES — A special needs teacher at Oakstead Elementary School was arrested on a felony charge of child abuse, accused of striking and kicking a 15-year-old in her care over the weekend, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The event ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco sheriff: Boy, 10, shot while playing with gun

DADE CITY — A 10-year-old boy was shot Monday in what the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is calling an "accidental" shooting that took place when he was left home unattended with another child.Deputies were called at 2:57 p.m. When they arrived at the...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago