Over 50 pilot whales die after mass stranding on Scottish isle

One of the dead whales appeared to have had a vaginal prolapse. This led the whole pod stranded due to one female giving birth

Over 50 whales have died after an entire pod was found in a mass stranding on a Western Isles beach in Scotland.

The rescue workers were immediately called to the scene at Traigh Mhor in North Tolsta around 7 am on Sunday (July 16).

Rescue workers tried to refloat the surviving whales, according to the marine charity, but three more died as rescue teams worked, leaving 12 still alive -8 adults and 4 calves.

At around 3.30 pm it was decided that the remaining whales should be euthanised on welfare grounds.

A statement from BDMLR (Marine charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue said that one of the dead whales appeared to have had a vaginal prolapse.  This led them to suspect that the whole pod stranded due to one female giving birth.

Pilot whales have strong social bonds, so often when one whale gets into difficulty and strands, the rest follow.

On being informed, the Coastguard, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, police and Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) arrived at the scene.

Between 2011 and 2015, it responded to a series of mass pilot whale strandings in Scotland, including one incident that involved a pod of more than 70 pilot whales.

(Input from agencies)

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