Marine Connection: Conservation through education - protecting whales, dolphins and the world's oceans for the future generations

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* Update 20 May *
Volunteers and marine scientists continue to struggle to keep the remaining four pilot whales alive, after a fifth had to be euthanised. The male’s condition deteriorated to the point where keeping him alive was causing him to suffer unnecessarily, the young adult whale had difficulty breathing and was not responding to treatment. Two of the four remaining whales are now in critical condition, another has pneumonia, but is doing well, rehabilitation efforts could last at least two months, and perhaps longer. Marine Connection will continue to update supporters on this topic.

Update - 10 May
The five surviving whales are now in a Key Largo rehabilitation centre, where they'll receive long term treatment. The animals arrived in a temperature controlled semi-trailer normally used to transport food after being kept wet during the 82 mile trip from the temporary sea pen. Three of the whales are in stable, while the other two are critically ill. The rehabilitation could take months.

2 stranded whales released

Two of the many pilot whales found stranded recently in the Florida Keys have been released. Twenty pilot whales beached themselves in shallow water off Cudjoe Key, about 20 miles east of Key West. Seven survived.

Blood tests indicated that two of the younger whales were healthy enough to be released into deeper waters and necropsies are planned for the 13 whales that died.Volunteers and veterinarians are caring round the clock for the remaining five stranded pilot whales, currently being cared for in a sea pen. These mamals are usually found in 300 metre deep waters in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico so it's not sure why this pod stranded as they showed no evident signs of significant emaciation or illness, but may have become disoriented and followed each other to the shore. Rescuers plan to transfer the five survivors to a rehabilitation facility in Key Largo once they are healthy enough to undergo the journey. Tents and wet sheets are protecting the five from the sun and temperatures and veterinarians are checking their blood and body fluids and are pumping them with antibiotics and enzymes.

A similar incident occurred in the Florida Keys in 2003, when 28 whales were stranded. Most of them died, but after several months of care, five were released back into the ocean.

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Conservation through education - protecting whales, dolphins and the world's oceans for the future generations