Featured Image Credit: Guardian News, Youtube Screenshot
By Sarah Sharkey
In Hamelin Bay of Western Australia, over 150 whales stranded last week. The short-finned pilot whales were first reported by a commercial fisherman on last Friday morning and local officials went out to try and rescue the animals.
According to Jeremy Chick, the rescue team leader, “Unfortunately, most of the whales beached themselves on dry land overnight and have not survived. Rescue operations will be hampered by deteriorating weather conditions and we need to ensure the safety of everyone involved before we move the whales.” It can be almost impossible for rescue teams to attempt saving stranded animals in rough weather.
Samples were taken from the dead animals in hopes of finding a clue as to why they stranded. So far, nothing definitive has been cited as a source of this mass stranding.
The biggest mass stranding of whales in Western Australia was in 1996 when 320 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves. The causes of that incident are still unknown.
Wildlife officials are warning beachgoers in the area that Hamelin Bay will not be a suitable place to swim at for the time being. The whale carcasses are expected to attract a large number of sharks to the area.
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