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Officials: 35 pilot whales moving in deeper water

December 5, 2013

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Florida (AP) — Pods of 35 pilot whales have been moving into deeper water off Florida’s southwest coast, raising optimism that the strandings may soon end.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries official Blair Mase said Thursday the three pods were located nine miles (14 1/2 kilometers) north of their original location and moving offshore. They were in 12 feet (3.6 meters) of water at midafternoon.

Mase says anything can still happen, but officials think the whales have a chance to reach their normal deep-ocean range. She also says 11 whales are dead and five are unaccounted for.

The large group of whales was first spotted Tuesday in very shallow water in Everglades National Park. Those that died are being studied because they beached themselves.

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