Mass pilot whale stranding on WA beach sparks rescue | Whales

Authorities are rushing to save more than 150 whales from a mass stranding at a beach in Western Australia’s south-west. Four pods have spread across roughly 500m at Toby’s Inlet near Dunsborough and 26 of these have died, Parks and Wildlife Service Western Australia confirmed.

“There are 20 whales in a pod about 1.5km offshore. Another pod of about 110 animals are together closer offshore,” a spokesperson said.

Wildlife officers, marine scientists and veterinarians are on site assessing the conditions of the whales that have become stranded.

“Our teams on the water are trying to keep the animals together and away from the beach,” the spokesperson said.

Based on previous strandings, including the one near Albany last year, whales often have to be “euthanised as the most humane outcome”, the spokesperson said.

At least 90 of the mammals died in that stranding in July last year.

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People trying to help are urged to abide by the directions of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

“The highest priority at mass whale stranding events is always human safety followed by animal welfare,” parks and wildlife said in a Facebook post.

“We want all staff and volunteers to go home safe.”

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