Five survivors after 22 pilot whales beached in Florida - FOX 13 News

Five survivors after 22 pilot whales beached in Florida

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

Researchers at Eckerd College are trying to figure out what caused a group of pilot whales to become stranded along Florida's East Coast.

Nearly two dozen creatures beached themselves in Fort Pierce, and tragically only five survived. They're being nursed back to health at Florida Atlantic University.

Marine biologists there are feeding them fish smoothies to try and keep them hydrated and nourished.

"There are a lot of theories why these animals strand," said biologist Andy Garrett. "Some say they follow a leader that's sick or disoriented and the whole group strands. Some say part of the group is sick, so we're just trying to figure out what we can do with these."

Experts say the surviving pilot whales are worn out and dehydrated. Otherwise, they're doing well.

The carcasses of some of the whales that didn't make it are being studied at Eckerd College in St. Pete to try and come up with some conclusions, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife officials.

Eventually, the plan is to take the surviving whales to SeaWorld to recover before returning to the ocean.

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