Plight of the Pilot Whales

Posted on May 24, 2011


There has been a recent bout of stranded Pilot Whales in the past month. In the last month, News has come from Scotland, Florida and New Zealand. Unfortunately, many of the stranded whales has died though few have given animal activists some hope of survival.

The Whales have stranded in Florida, Scotland and New Zealand

Scottish Pilot Whales were believed to have purposely beached due to having a sick whale in the Pod. A rescue group formed by the charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue, reported that one of the 60 beach whales died while a few others disappeared. After doing a post-mortem, it is thought that the whale was carrying some sort of infection. Although one of the Pod died, the rescue team successfully coaxed the rest of the Pod back out to sea.

21 Whales were found in Florida Key West. An urgent appeal for volunteers was sent out as soon as the whales were found. Stranded 20 miles north of the Key West, rescuers were unable to save 13 Pilot Whales that sadly died. Several were taken to a marina to be cared for but hopes have been slim for their survival. The remaining 6 whales were coaxed into a makeshift sea pen, for protection. Due to the vast strandings in different areas, experts kept the whales in a makeshift pen to find out if there is an infection travelling through the seas that is causing the mass beaching.

New Zealand’s 107 Pilot Whales that were stranded on the coast all died, including 48 of which were euthanized. Discovered by hikers near Cavalier Creek, rescuers flew to the destination but found that half of the Pod was already dead, while the others were barely living.

Rescuers have been working to save the whales

Nothing has been said about why these whales have been beaching in such great numbers, however, many are speculating that there is a virus spreading through the species. Pilot Whales usually travel in large numbers that can be as big as a thousand. They are found in every sea and communicate in similar ways as dolphins. Like dolphins, Pilot Whales are friendly creatures and can be seen by sea watchers with incredible views. With their network, it is easy for a virus to spread, until marine scientists can confirm the reason, activists are working overtime in trying to save them.