Earlier this afternoon, 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.
The five surviving, juvenile whales (two males and three females) were 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. The whales are currently receiving 24 hour care. The goal is for the whales to transition to SeaWorld Orlando for long-term care, and ultimately be returned back to the ocean.
At this time it is unclear why the group of whales stranded. Neocropsys will be conducted on the deceased animals to determine possible causes. 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.