SeaWorld Orlando's Animal Rescue Team, along with several agencies, responded to 22 short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Florida’s Avalon State Park Beach in St. Lucie County this past weekend.
Currently, the four surviving, juvenile whales have been transported to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s Rehabilitation Center in Ft. Pierce where they are being evaluated, stabilized and treated by animal expert teams from SeaWorld Orlando, Harbor Branch, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Marine Mammal Conservancy, University of Florida, as well as specially trained and qualified Harbor Branch volunteers.
At this time it is unclear why the group of whales stranded. Necropsies will be conducted on the deceased animals to determine possible causes.
The next step is to transport the surviving whales to SeaWorld Orlando for long-term care where they will receive 24 hour treatment and evaluation. The goal is for the whales to ultimately be returned back to the ocean.
Stay tuned as we update the whales prognosis in the next coming days.
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.
SeaWorld's animal rescue team is on call 24/7 to save and care for injured, orphaned or ill animals.