51 pilot whales die after stranding in West Australia

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SYDNEY. KAZINFORM At least 51 long-finned pilot whales died overnight after stranding on a remote Western Australia beach, while conservationists try to rescue another 46, authorities said Wednesday.

A total of 97 pilot whales had gathered on Tuesday morning in shallow water about 150 meters off Cheynes beach, before they began to strand themselves, EFE reports.

«Sadly 51 whales have died overnight after a mass stranding at Cheynes Beach,» the Western Australia Parks and Wildlife Service reported on social media.

It added that rescue teams, veterinarians, marine wildlife experts and volunteers who have been deployed by land and sea since Tuesday were trying to «return the remaining 46 whales to deeper water during the course of the day.»

«The response zone has a range of hazards, including large, distressed and potentially sick whales, sharks, waves, heavy machinery and vessels,» the service said.

In September 2022, most of the 230 pilot whales that stranded on a remote Tasmanian beach died in an incident two years to the day after some 470 pilot whales stranded in the same place, of which only around 50 could be saved.

Australia, like the neighboring country of New Zealand, experiences frequent strandings of whales and experts have not been able to clarify the exact reasons.

However, it is believed that they may be linked to illnesses, navigational errors, sudden changes in the tides, noise pollution, predation or extreme weather conditions.

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