Hundreds of Volunteers Save Beached Whales in Australia

Here's the feel-good story of the day (well, almost – one of the whales died): Hundreds of local people (some sources say 1500) responded to a call from the Department of Conservation and Land Management to help save more than a hundred (or about 80, depending on the source) beached whales in western Australia, south of Perth. The whales were "False Killer Whales", which are actually dolphins despite their name, and one of the theories to explain the beaching is...Dozens of whales which beached themselves on the West Australian coast this week appear to have swum ashore while accompanying a fellow whale that was sick, wildlife officials said on Friday.

An autopsy of the sick whale, the only one that died during the mass stranding on Thursday, found an unusually high number of parasitic worms in the animal's intestines as well as abdominal bruising, the Department of Conservation and Land Management (Calm) said. [...]

Whales, and false killer whales in particular, are often involved in mass beachings, but scientists have been unable to explain the phenomenon.

One prominent theory is that one or more sick whales swim into shallow waters and are followed by the entire pod of the highly social animals.

One bunch of highly social animals helping another. Preferable that way, for sure.

Top photo credit: AFP, BBC
::Beached whales saved in Australia , ::Pod returns to deep but mystery lingers, ::Sick whale caused beaching, say officials

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