An article on death of pilot whales in a mass stranding, written by Anshika Yadav
Long-finned pilot whales can be as long as 23 feet and are of several tones. They also well-known to form pods as large as 1,000 members. In Australia from a sandbar off the coast of Tasmania, about 500 whales were stranded on a beach in which around 270 died. However,rescue efforts are going on as a group of 270, which stranded near the town of Stratham.
50 whales in that group have now been freed and have found the way to open ocean. This was a refloating mission for government Marine conservatives but they did their best and assured that they will continue working for as long as there are live animals on the site.
They are committed to retrieving and disposing of, said the marine scientist, Pirotta. While these rescue efforts on the way, they found a solution for carcasses. Considering the two methods: either to bury them in a landfill or towing them in open water.
In Tasmania and in neighbouring New Zealand mass stranding of whales and dolphins are common. “We absolutely need some more investment in research to understand these whales in Australian waters.” Said Harrison a professor at the Southern Cross University.
This incident is also believed to be the largest mass stranding ever recorded in Australia.
Cause: The causes of this mass stranding remain unknown even to scientists who have been working on this phenomenon for decades. There’s no such reason found.
Interesting facts about Pilot whales
• Pilot whales are the second largest Dolphins in the world.
• Generally found in colder waters and short-finned prefer tropical waters.
• Males weigh 3 tones but females weigh about 11/2 tons.
• They have white/ light grey anchor-shaped patch on ventral belly.
• Like to eat squid but also fish.
They are highly social animals and remain in their mother’s pod.
Pilot whales are also known for stranding themselves on beaches. However, pods of pilot whales have been observed being very protective of their matriarchs.
According to studies group, stranding tend to be of mostly healthy pilot whales. Reasons are unknown for this stranding but it’s believed that their strong social bonds contribute to these events. Other can be navigational errors made when following prey, parasitic infections resulting in neurological disorders.