Photo: Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Liz Wren, HO
Sadly, Few Survivors
The CBC reports: "More than 87 whales and five bottlenose dolphins beached early Monday in Hamelin Bay in the state of Western Australia. Seventy-two whales and one dolphin died before they could be rescued, officials said." 11 long-finned pilot whales have survived and were returned to the ocean, but sadly what appears to be 6 of them have re-beached themselves and the last news are that 2 have died.The 4 others that are stranded were, according to the latest news, in deteriorating condition. The AP writes:
Veterinarians were being sent to euthanize the ailing animals, which were spotted by airplane on a beach about four miles (six kilometers) away from where a pod of 10 had been released a day earlier.
"We believe they are part of the rescued group from yesterday, so it's very disappointing," said John Carter, operations officer with the department. "We'll compare photos and measurements when we can get out there."
He said they thought the other four rescued whales were safe at sea.
Mass Beachings More Common Than You Might Think
What's really sad (and shocking) about all this is that this is just one incident among many. This was the 5th mass-beaching in Australia in as many months; nearly 500 whales have died during that time.
Wikipedia has an overview of the possible causes of these beachings. If you are interested in learning more, you can check it out here
Via CBC, AP, AP
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