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More than 160 pilot whales have washed ashore in Australia

More than 160 pilot whales have washed ashore in Australia

As of: April 25, 2024 11:53 am

In Australia, experts and volunteers are frantically trying to save a large group of stranded pilot whales. Eyewitnesses talk about a terrible scene: the animals cannot free themselves.

More than 160 pilot whales have washed ashore on Australia's west coast. According to the Biodiversity and Conservation Commission (DBCA), the marine mammals were in distress in shallow waters near Dunsborough, a small town about 250 kilometers south of Perth.

About 100 marine mammals have now returned to deeper waters, the DBCA said. Helpers in the boats tried to stop them from swimming back to shore. “We have ships and a sighting plane in operation that will monitor where the animals are every few hours,” said a DPCA spokesperson. However, nearly 30 animals died in the shallow water.

A large number of animal rights activists and residents rushed to the beach since morning to rescue the animals and pour water on them. “We know people want to help, but we ask them not to try to rescue animals without guidance from DPCA staff, as this can cause further injury and stress to the animals and hinder a coordinated rescue operation,” officials wrote. Human safety is always a top priority when whales roam at large.

And animals near the coast are at risk

According to the commission, there are four whales within 500 meters of the beach. “Based on previous strandings of this cetacean, such as at Chains Beach near Albany last year, such events typically require euthanasia of stranded animals, which is the most humane solution,” the state Parks and Wildlife Service said in a statement. Western Australia on Facebook.

Another group of about 20 pilot whales also used emergency services boats to stop them from swimming towards the beach. There is another pod of about 110 whales in deeper water just off the coast.

The reason for the entanglement is still unknown

Marine expert Ian Wise said the situation was dire. “There are many theories around the world, but no one has been able to find the cause of the mass whale strandings.” In 1996, 320 pilot whales washed ashore in the same area. At that time almost all the animals were saved.

In 2018, 100 marine mammals died en masse in Hamelin Bay, Western Australia. Last year, nearly 100 pilot whales again stranded on Chains Beach east of Albany. None of the animals survived.

According to experts, pilot whales form a very close bond with each other. At certain times of the year they travel in large groups, increasing the risk of mass strandings.

Jennifer Johnston, ART Singapore, Tagessao, April 25, 2024 9:17 am