Mass whale stranding reported at Western Australian beach

PERTH (Australia), Apr 24: Wildlife authorities rushed to a beach in Western Australia (WA)’s southwest on Thursday, where scores of whales were found being stranded.

The state’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) confirmed that a mass stranding of 50 to 100 pilot whales is underway at Toby’s Inlet near Dunsborough, according to Xinhua.

Experts from the department as well as veterinarians from Perth Zoo are currently being deployed to respond to this evolving situation.

“We know people want to help but we asked that people please do not attempt to rescue the animals without direction of DBCA staff, as this may cause further injury, and distress to the animals and hinder a coordinated rescue effort,” the department said.

Chair of Geographe Marine Research Ian Wiese, who worked at the scene, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that several whales were already dead, with others “just thrashing around”, and more deaths could be expected in the next few hours.

He also voiced concern over a second location on the eastern side of Toby’s Inlet, where he believed an additional six pilot whales could also be at risk.

According to a statement by the Busselton City Council, the beach has been closed after the mass whale stranding was reported.