Stranding

Steps taken to stop dead whales exploding at scene of mass stranding

The carcasses of some of the hundreds of dead pilot whales that stranded on a New Zealand beach in recent days are being punctured in order to prevent them from exploding near volunteers helping with the operation.

Well over 300 pilot whales died last week when they stranded at Farewell Spit despite a huge rescue operation. Another eight whales stranded yesterday (Tuesday), possibly those that had already been re-floated by rescuers days before.

300 pilot whales die after stranding in New Zealand

Around 300 pilot whales have died after stranding in Golden Bay at Farewell Spit on New Zealand's South Island. The location has been the scene of mass strandings in the past. 

Most of the whales were already dead by the time rescuers arrived but around 100 whales have been released back into the sea in the hope they will head back out to the deeper waters where these whales are normally found. Around 500 people took part in the rescue.

Over 80 false killer whales die in Florida stranding

More than 80 false killer whales have died after stranding in the Everglades National Park in Florida during the weekend.

Despite the best efforts of local authorities the whales could not be saved in the remote shallow waters with some caught up in mangroves.

There were thought to be a many as 100 whales in the pod, the fate of the remaining creatures is not yet known.

Humpback whale calf helps stranded mother

Rescue teams off Queensland, Australia watched as a young humpback whale calf tried to to push its mother off a sandbar after the whale became stranded after the tide went out.

The whale was stuck for around an hour near North Stradbroke Island before rising waters enabled it to refloat and head out to deeper water with its offspring.

Stranding in Victoria could be rare dwarf sperm whale

An unusual-looking whale that has washed up on a beach in Victoria, Australia, is thought to possibly be a rarely seen dwarf sperm whale.

The 2.4 metre-long whale was discovered on Saturday. Just 17 have ever been recorded in Australia and it would be the first time in Victoria.

Stranded narwhal found in Belgium

On the evening of 27 April 2016, a narwhal was found on the banks of the River Scheldt, Belgium (more than 50 km from the sea!). The animal was in an advanced state of decomposition. It is a juvenile male of 2.9 m length (without the tusk). Its remains weighed 290 kg. It was autopsied on 28 April in a joint effort by the Universities of Ghent and Liège. The autopsy revealed that the whale probably died of starvation but also had a heart condition and possibly a thyroid problem.

Four orcas trapped in ice rescued

Four orcas, including a young calf, who had become trapped in ice near Sakhalin Island just metres from the shoreline have been successfully freed. Rescuers, along with volunteers from the local community, worked together to break up the ice and initially two females and a calf were able to escape. The team then had to wait for a high tide and worked through the night to help the remaining male orca, who the team had named "Willie", to escape the ice. He was eventually escorted out to deeper ice-free water.

Another striped dolphin washes up on Swedish beach

The third striped dolphin this year has been found stranded on a beach in Sweden, this time on Mellbystrand beach.

In February, two other dolphins washed up on the coast in Onsala.

Striped dolphins are usually found in more southerly, warmer waters and it is currently unclear why they are appearing in the colder waters off Sweden.

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