Dozens of whales are beached in the Everglades National Park in southwest Florida, and rangers and wildlife workers are trying to keep the animals stable until the tide rises enough to allow them to return to sea.
Park officials today said about 30 whales were stranded in shallow water, and 10 more were on the shore, in the remote park near the Gulf of Mexico. The pod was first sighted yesterday.
Of those on shore, four have died but workers managed to get six back into deeper water, park officials said.
The animals are believed to be short-finned pilot whales, typically found in deep water in tropical and temperate areas.
Rangers and workers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, have been trying to keep the whales wet and stable until the tide rose high enough for them to swim out.
Short-finned pilot whales typically travel in pods of 25 to 30 animals. Adults weigh 1,000 to 3,000 kg, with females measuring about 3.7 metres long on average and males some 5.5 meters, the adminstration said.