About 150 stranded whales die at Australian beach

MELBOURNE – All but six of more than 150 short-finned pilot whales that stranded themselves on a beach in Western Australia have died, despite efforts from authorities and local beachgoers to save them, officials said on Saturday.

The marine mammals stranded themselves in Hamelin Bay, 315km south of the state’s capital, Perth, between March 22 and 23.

Authorities, veterinarians and locals who were visiting the beach attempted to save 15 of the migrating cetaceans in shallow waters, however only seven were able to successfully be placed back in the water.

A spokesperson from Western Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions said one whale beached itself again and had to be euthanised. So far, the remaining six whales appear to have survived although incident controller Jeremy Chick said they could attempt to beach themselves at another location. Locals and tourists have been warned to stay out of the water due to a likely increase in sharks attracted by the dead whales.