Volunteers Prevent Over 100 Whales From Beaching

Photo: ahisgett / cc

Late last week, after more than a hundred whales threatening to beach themselves were spotted off the coast of an island in Scotland, dozens of locals worked together to save them -- and their efforts seem to have worked. Thanks to a team of conservationists, fishermen and others, one group of disoriented pilot whales off the coast of South Uist were driven back towards deeper waters, and further from a suicidal fate that biologists have yet to fully understand.According to a report from The Telegraph, the commendable whale-rescue effort began when the Scottish SPCA was informed of a large group of whales in distress of the coast of the the region's western islands. Soon several organizations, including the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), set sail in hopes of drawing the whales back out to sea.

Calum Watt, of the SPCA:

When pilot whales come inshore there is a very strong chance some among the group are sick or injured.

We believe around 20 of these whales have severe head injuries but at this stage we aren't sure of the cause. One possibility is these injuries were sustained during a previous attempt to strand themselves.

Pilot whales have extremely strong social bonds, which sadly means healthy whales within the pod will follow sick and injured whales on to shore.

This valiant effort of conservationists and volunteers to prevent the beach of hundreds of whales seems to have paid off -- though time will tell if the prevention was short lived.

"The whales appear to have moved into deeper water and split into a couple of smaller groups so the imminent danger of stranding has receded for the time being," says BDMLR spokesman Dave Jarvis, via The Telegraph.

Despite the great care given to prevent what appeared to be the eminent stranding of over 100 whales, experts are still baffled by what drives the animals towards such suicidal behavior. Some speculate that human activities, such as the use of marine RADAR, or navigational errors may be behind the phenomena -- though a definitive cause remains undetermined. But fortunately, until experts find a better preventative, the concerted efforts of tireless volunteers is enough to once again remains equally boundless.

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More on Whale Strandings
Death Toll in Mysterious Mass Pilot Whale Beachings Hits 168
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Tags: Scotland | Whales

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