Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

January 24, 2014

Withering Whales

A Long-finned pilot whale spyhopping
Picture credit:  Barney Moss

Each day as I watch our local news, I keep hoping that this will all end, but each day, it only gets worse.
We are becoming painfully aware here in Florida of the ongoing deaths of our precious ocean mammals.
Now with these new announcements this morning of even more Pilot Whales being stranded, dying and washing ashore, the gloom hangs over the state like a dark, heavy blanket.
When the dolphins, manatees and pelicans were found dead in the Indian River Lagoon, it was blamed on many factors, but many here felt pretty convinced that it was most likely caused by chemical run off and toxins in the water.
So, now that Pilot Whales are being found dead and dying, or missing from their family pods, what is to blame is being asked.
The whales that have been found are nearly emaciated, not a very good sign.
It seems likely that there is a great deal more to this tragic mystery that is being seen at present.
As the majority of them are on the Gulf Coast, it would be easy to blame this on the BP oil spill years ago.
Much to the dismay of local wildlife officials, the BP mess has had lingering disastrous effects on all of our wildlife and the food that they need to survive.
The fact that these Pilot Whales  seem to be seriously underweight, leads us to draw the conclusion that their food sources are either dead or dying, or simply toxic and worth little to keep them healthy or well nourished.
One thing is obvious, when our wonderful sea life is dying all around us, with few clues as to why, we must look inward.
What are we doing to their homes and their food sources?
So much to think about, but very few answers.
We are a species that by nature, can be quite greedy and self-absorbed, and the animals around us are paying for this gluttony with their lives.
Wake up people, what we do on this planet matters.
It matters to everything that lives, animal and plant alike.
We are their keepers, and we had better start doing a better job of keeping them.

You may learn more here:
Scientists asks public to help find missing whales off Florida coast
Stranded Pilot Whales Die in Florida Everglades
Dangerous Waters
Video of Pilot Whales Stranded in Everglades National Park
2010-2014 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico

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