Update: Rescue teams are continuing the operation to save the remaining pilot whales stranded on Cheynes Beach in WA.
Rescue teams are spending a second night trying to save pilot whales stranded on Cheynes Beach in WA.
Approximately 100 whales became stranded on the beach yesterday.
Despite efforts, more than half of the whales have died.
The rescuers say they’re hopeful they can save more of the whales, after 51 died.
In an updated post, the Parks and Wildlife Service WA says they are grateful for all the rescue professionals and volunteers who are working tirelessly to save the whales.
“Fantastic effort today from 250 registered volunteers, more than 100 staff from the Parks and Wildlife Service and other agencies as they worked tirelessly in and out of the water, managing to keep all 45 pilot whales alive throughout the day.
“Over the next couple of hours, staff and volunteers, with the assistance of small vessels and surf skis, will attempt to safely and gently move the animals into deeper waters, giving them the best chance of survival.”
The pod of approximately 70 beached pilot whales was found on Cheynes Beach, near Albany, yesterday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the pod was seen on drone footage huddling together approximately 150 metres from shore.
That footage caused concern for Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions officers.
A number have already died, with DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service officers working frantically throughout the night to save the rest.
“Unfortunately, a number of animals have died overnight,” DBCA Parks and Wildlife said in a statement.
“Rescue efforts for live whales continues.”
In an updated Facebook post at 6am, the department said it was overwhelmed with offers of help from members of the public.
“We understand the public’s concern and appreciate the support,” a statement said.
“However, we now have enough registered volunteers and the best way to help is for members of the public to stay away from Cheynes Beach on Wednesday.
“The priority focus of the Incident Management Team is to ensure the safety of staff and volunteers and the welfare of the whales.
“The response zone has a range of hazards, including largem distressed and potentially sick whales, sharkes, waves, heavy machinery, and vessels.”
More to come