MIAMI (AP) — Officials say they won't remove the carcasses of large dolphins stranded in shallow waters off the western edge of Everglades National Park.
Over 80 false killer whales died or were euthanized by Monday after becoming stranded off a remote island within park boundaries along the Gulf of Mexico. In Facebook and Twitter posts, park officials said Thursday that the dead dolphins are being left in place because national parks "protect all aspects of the ecosystem."
Officials said the decomposing carcasses will "fuel the food web" by providing nutrients to scavengers such as vultures, sharks and crabs.
Biologists are studying samples from the carcasses to determine what caused the dolphins to become stranded and die.
Marine mammal experts say false killer whales usually swim in deep waters in large groups.