FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Crews spent most of Sunday morning picking up stranded pilot whales that first washed up along shore Saturday morning in Ft. Pierce.
Volunteers with Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Marine Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials were at Avalon State Park collecting the remainder of the whales along Avalon State Park.
A total of 22 whales were initially discovered Saturday, 17 of which either died or had to be euthanized by biologists. They will be used for future research.
5 of the mammals were rescued and taken to the Harbor Branch Marine Center.
Spokesman Steve McCulloch said his team is investigating what caused the whales to become stranded and said in some instances if the alpha male falls ill, the others follow suit.