Over 140 whales die after mass stranding in Australia; volunteers rescue 5


At least five of the 150 short-finned pilot whales that were stranded on a beach in Western Australia were rescued by volunteers, the authorities said on Saturday. The Guardian reported that the whales were freed by authorities at Hamelin Bay, south of Perth, with the help of vets and more than 100 volunteers.

Reports said that the surviving whales have been moved to deeper waters. However, there was still a risk that they could return to dry land.

The Parks and Wildlife Service incident controller Jeremy Chick said that the whales often came back on to the shore after mass-stranding events. "We ask the public to keep a lookout and if anyone sees a stranded whale to please report it," he said.

Meanwhile, a sixth whale was freed into shallow waters overnight but it beached again and had to be euthanised.

On Saturday, the authorities continued to sweep the surrounding beaches by air and sea, the Guardian reported.

The authorities were taking DNA samples from those 145 carcasses that were being removed to understand why the whales beached.

On Friday morning, a fisherman spotted the latge number of whales. In 1996, the biggest mass beaching in Western Australia occurred in Dunsborough, when 320 long-finned pilot whales stranded themselves just north of Hamelin Bay and died.

The authorities have warned the locals and tourists to stay out of the water due to a likely increase in sharks attracted by the dead whales. The beach has been temporarily closed while authorities dispose of the deceased whales.