Whales Beach Themselves in Florida Everglades


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Recently about 50 pilot whales have beached themselves on the coast of the Florida Everglades. This is tragic in that 10 have expired either due to natural causes or from euthanization by authorities whom judged them to be in condition too poor to be resuscitated. What's even more troubling is that the remaining crew have been assessed with a very low likelihood of survival. It is unclear why these mammals have beached themselves, as the beach was more than 20 miles from the deep waters that they are indigenous to. Pilot whales beaching themselves is surprisingly not that uncommon and there are several recorded incidences of this occurring throughout a period of years, and it is especially common on the beaches of the Florida Everglades. Whale experts believe that it is very likely that the herd mentality of the pilot whale species is what leads to their ultimate demise as the beaching of one whale could easily cause an entire group to beach themselves, due to their social nature. Despite all this the pilot whale species is not endangered and these isolated incidences have no measurable effect on the population.
While this can easily be interpreted as tragic, one must appreciate it for what it is: nature. Experts assert that this almost semiannual trend has no major consequences for the species and ,as such, in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential. Authorities say that the likelihood of saving any of these whales is very low but that it is possible through the use of heavy machinery such as flatbed trucks and cranes. I think that this is a nice sentiment but is not hyper important to the everglades or the the marine environment surrounding it, especially since it is highly likely that the whales will do it again due to their proximity to the beach.

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1 Comment

I remember reading about dolphins and whales who sometimes commit suicide which could also be a reason so many whales show up on beaches dead. In New Zealand on a beach called Farewell Spit, 61 whales beached themselves. The theory explained in the article is that when one of these whales are sick they head to the shore and other follow leaving some alive still on the beach. Whales aren’t the only types of mammals to commit suicide. Whales, ducks, dogs, cows, and rats are all known to commit suicide. I guess animals have the same intuition humans have sometime when they no longer have the will to survive. Mammals are just like us in the way they behave sometimes and also have emotions. It is really interesting the way animals react to things for example the heart wrenching movie Where the Red Fern Grows about the two dogs and when one dies the other commits suicide out of loneliness. I believe it is possible for animals to feel the same emotions as us in some cases.

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