Scientists are investigating what led to Florida's largest stranding in history of more than 95 false killer whales--a type of dolphin--in Everglades National Park, according to CBS 12.
Eighty-one of the mammals, which tend to travel in large groups, are reported to be dead. Thirteen remain unaccounted for, and one is alive.
"It's the largest mass stranding we've had in of this species in the U.S." Dr. Fougeres said.
Officials first learned of the incident on Saturday when someone reported seeing a whale swimming off the coast of Hog Key. Some of the dolphins were trapped in mangroves. At least nine had to be humanely euthanized, NBC6 reported.
"There was unfortunately not much that we could do for them. They were high and dry on very wide mud flats and trapped in mangroves. So it was a very unfortunate situation," NOAA Fisheries' Dr. Erin Fougeres said. "It's in a very very challenging location. It's very remote in the far western Everglades. About an hour to an hour and a half by boat to get there."
The National Park Services has closed the area for safety reasons.
The cause of the largest mass stranding in Florida remains unclear, but NOAA officials along with the are performing necropsies--animal autopsies-- to clarify what had happened.
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