Eleven pilot whales were rescued after stranding near shore on Sri Lanka’s west coast in the early hours of Saturday, wildlife officials told AFP.
A Navy team helped with the rescue effort along with local fishermen, who raised the alarm when the pods were sighted after midnight near the resort village of Kudava.
More than a dozen pilot whales have beached #kalpitiya This morning (January 11)
3 #pilot whales already dead where local people and SL Navy are taking action to take the stranded pilot whale back to sea
100 pilot whales were last reported stranded at Panadura in October 2020 pic.twitter.com/sLWtD2m8XZ
– The Pearl Protectors (@PearlProtectors) February 11, 2023
“There were 14 of them and three died when they came ashore,” wildlife officer Eranda Gamage told AFP.
“They had to be taken to the deep sea to drop them there so they wouldn’t come back to shore. The Navy dropped them off in their boats.”
Pilot whales – which can grow up to six meters (20 feet) long and weigh a ton – are highly social.
The causes of mass stranding are unknown, despite scientists studying the phenomenon for decades.
In November 2020, Sri Lankan rescuers managed to save 120 pilot whales in a grueling overnight effort, which also involved the country’s navy.
Three pilot whales and a dolphin died after a massive beaching on the country’s west coast at Panadura, south of the capital Colombo.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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