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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…

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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…

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Rescued dolphin recovering from sunburn

New images of a bottlenose dolphin in the Moray Firth, Scotland that was badly sunburned after becoming stranded on a beach, indicate that the dolphin’s skin is now healing. The dolphin, known as Spirtle, was discovered on a beach in May. It is thought she may have been out of the water for up to…

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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. The dwarf sperm whale is the…

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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…

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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…

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Spate of porpoise deaths in Germany

While it was the strandings of their much larger relative, the sperm whale, that gained media attention in Germany recently, there have also been several harbour porpoises suffering a similar fate in recent months. In February, an 18 month old male was found on the Baltic coast at Eckernförder. Porpoises in the Baltic are critically endangered…

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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…

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Why are beached whales taken to landfill?

The sight of any beached whale or dolphin can be really distressing for onlookers, even for scientists like me who visit strandings on a regular basis. After watching the ‘whale fall’ experiment on Britain’s Whales on ITV, many of supporters were asking why stranded whales are often taken to landfill rather than being placed to…

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A sad windfall

A few days ago on a remote, windswept beach on the wild shores of north west Iceland I found myself standing in front of a dead orca carcass that had been reported washed ashore earlier that day by a local farmer. She was identified by researchers as IS223 and was just over 5 metres long…

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