Over 150 whales have become stranded at a beach in WA

By AG Staff 23 March 2018
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Authorities are currently working to save as many whales as possible.

RESCUE OPERATIONS are currently underway at Hamelin Bay, Western Australia following a mass stranding of over 150 whales.

See more: Why do whales strand themselves?

Authorities from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) estimate that approximately half of the stranded whales— believed to be short-finned pilot whales are deceased, while 15 to 20 are still swimming dangerously close to the shoreline.

“We’re obviously managing the animals and the palliative care of those animals, and the rescue of the animals that are still alive, if possible,” Ben Tonnock, the visitor service coordinator at the DBCA, told the ABC.

whale stranding WA

(Image Credit: Leaarne Hollowood)

He also said that while the authorities efforts are focused on the whales, managing the crowds was also a big task.

“Obviously in these certain incidents there’s high requirement to manage the public interaction as well,” he said.

“It becomes quite an emotive issue and the public will themselves want to get involved.

“It is certainly terrific to have them on site, but they need to work under the guidance of Parks and Wildlife Services staff and make sure the incident is controlled and managed properly.”

whale stranding WA

(Image Credit: Leaarne Hollowood)

Shark alerts have been issued as it’s common for dead or dying animals to act as attractants.

“While it’s not uncommon for sharks to be present off the Western Australian coast throughout the year, people should exercise additional caution until the stranding incident is resolved,” the alert said.

whale stranding WA

(Image Credit: Leaarne Hollowood)

The following warnings have been issued by the authorities:

  • Take additional caution in the Hamelin Bay area
  • Adhere to beach closures advised by Local Government Rangers or Surf Life Saving WA.
  • Keep informed of the latest detection and sighting information by checking the SharkSmart website or Surf Life Saving WA’s Twitter feed.
  • Report shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600.