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Officials find 11 more dead whales believed to be part of pod stranded in Fla.

Beached Whale Latino (1).jpg

After conducting a necropsy volunteers and staff from NOAA, FWC, MMC wash bloodied hands in the Gulf of Mexico on a dead pilot whale Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 at Highland Beach in The Everglades of Florida. Six dead pilot whales were found earlier today in a remote part of the park, part of a pod of 51 whales facing an uncertain future. Four pilot whales have had to be euthanized. Federal biologists report that 46 pilot whales are alive and swimming free. (AP Photo/Naples Daily News, Corey Perrine)

National wildlife officials say 11 whales believed to be part of a pod that was stranded in the Everglades are dead.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official Blair Mase says wildlife workers spotted the dead whales Sunday afternoon on Snipe Point, about six miles north of Sugarloaf Key.

That brings the overall death toll to 22.

The pod of 51 short-finned pilot whales was first spotted by a fishing guide Tuesday in the shallow waters off a remote section of the Everglades. The species is one of the most commonly involved in mass strandings.

Mase says that veterinary teams will try to determine whether any disease was a factor in the deaths.

Officials do not know the status of the remaining whales. The marine mammals were last seen alive Friday.

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