The Five Rescued Pilot Whales Are Going to SeaWorld

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Pilot Whale

A pod of 22 pilot whales came ashore Saturday morning at Avalon Beach State Park in St. Lucie County, Florida and were transported to the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute for care. The whales ranged from calves and juveniles to adult whales.
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) reports that the surviving whales will go to SeaWorld:
“Five juvenile whales (two males and three females) were transported to FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s Rehabilitation Center where they are being evaluated, stabilized and treated by animal expert teams from Harbor Branch, SeaWorld Orlando, Fish & Wildlife Conservancy, Marine Mammal Conservancy, as well as qualified/trained Harbor Branch volunteers. All five animals had a very smooth transport. The goal is for the whales to transition to SeaWorld Orlando for long-term care and ultimately, be returned back to the ocean. Thank you to all Protect Florida Whales Specialty License Plate holders, as plate proceeds make stranding responses possible.”
Update (9/2/12 5pm)Under the leadership of FAU’s HBOI Staff Veterinarian Dr. Juli Goldstein, the veterinary team is currently administering 24-hour care to meet the whales’ medical, nutritional and behavioral needs. They made a smooth transition to FAU’s HBOI Critical Care Center and are successfully managing their environment and swimming without assistance from staff. The whales’ blood parameters indicate inflammation, evidence of stress and infection as a result of the mass stranding event. They are juveniles that are still developing their immune systems.
Determinations about transport of the whales to SeaWorld Orlando for continued rehabilitation will be decided based upon their progress and discussions with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, the veterinarian team and other scientific experts.”(HBOI)
About HBOI:

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, also commonly referred to as HBOI or HBOI at FAU, is a non-profit oceanographic institution operated by Florida Atlantic University in Fort Pierce, Florida, USA. HBOI traces its history to a 1971 entity which was merged into FAU in 2007.
Since May 2009, HBOI has been the headquarters of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research & Technology (CIOERT), which is co-managed by University of North Carolina Wilmington and includes partners SRI International, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Science. CIOERT priorities include development of advanced underwater technologies, exploration and research of frontier regions of the eastern US continental shelf and beyond, improved understanding of vulnerable deep and shallow coral ecosystems, and improved ocean literacy. (Wikipedia)

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