Teamwork is needed for beachgoers to save these stranded whales
A crowd of beachgoing strangers banded together to rescue a pod of beached whales after they stranded themselves on a Georgia beach.
“It is so sad,” said Dixie McCoy in the footage she shared of the rescue. “They are going to die if they don’t get help.”
Help wasn’t far away.
Beachgoers at St. Simons Island sprang into action as soon as it became clear the pilot whales needed help.
The impromptu rescue effort managed to save many of the trapped whales. Three whales out of nearly 50 ended up not making it, but it would’ve been much worse without help.
“The remaining whales were last seen swimming in the sound, and it is hoped they will continue to keep moving out to sea,” according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Strandings aren’t ideal, but they’re natural
Finding stranded whales isn’t a great situation for anyone involved.
“While stranding is a known natural occurrence, the only thing we can do is to continue pushing them out to sea,” DNR senior wildlife Clay George said.
Pushing them back out is sometimes easier said than done since male pilot whales can grow to 20 feet in length and weigh 3 tons.
Stranded whales aren’t something new, however, the Georgia DNR says it’s “exceedingly rare, for something like this to happen in Georgia.”
“These animals should be 100 miles or more off our coast,” said Clay George, a wildlife biologist at the department. “So, something went wrong with this pod of pilot whales.”
Experts haven’t been able to determine the exact cause of the beaching. The nature of the whale having a strong desire to keep the group together plays a role.
A necropsy will be conducted on the whales that died to determine what could’ve contributed to the stranding.