Pilot Whales Beached in South Africa
Twenty pilot whales beached themselves in Cape Town, South Africa yesterday. Authorities and volunteers worked around the clock to help the whales. However, despite their best efforts, only six of the whales survived.
The group of whales were found stranded at Noordhoek Beach early yesterday morning. Although Police, Sea Rescue and other volunteers attempted to hose down the whales, finally nine of the pod had to be humanely euthanised and five died of natural causes. One whale was able to swim away freely without much assistance. Five others, which were still in good health, were transported via a trailer to a naval base. They were then transported back to sea by two SA Navy tug boats and released.
Steve Lambinon, of the National Sea Rescue Institute commented that the SA Navy would continue to monitor the shoreline in False Bay in the event that the whales beach themselves again.
Lambinon went on to explain that the whales were helped with wet blankets, which were continuously doused with water to keep them cool and alive. Attempts were also made to relieve as much stress as possible from the gentle creatures. Sea Rescue had implored the public to stay away from the beach, as they already had ample volunteers to assist in the rescue. Media was thanks for spreading word of the stranding as quickly as possible.
The incident is a horrid reminder of the tragic 2009 stranding in South Africa, when a large group of 55 whales had to be euthanised.