Saturday, 30 May 2009

Several whales beach at Kommetjie

Whales beach at KommetjieFifty five whales have beached at Kommetjie in Cape Town today.

Several volunteers have swarmed the beach to assist marine biologists to try and rescue the whales.

Reasons why whales beach

Beaching of whales may seem like a strange phenomenon but there are several reasons/theories why whales beach: Illness could affect their sense of direction. Strong currents could push the whales into low tide areas and then the whales get caught in a race against time to get back into deeper water.

Volunteers trying to rescue the beached whalesIn Kommetjie some of the whales that were freed, were stranded again on the same beach. This however is not uncommon. Again, a problem with their sense of direction could lead them back to the beach, thinking that they're heading for deeper waters.

It could also be that the rest of the whales followed one in distress and got caught in low tide. If a whale stays stranded on the beach for too long, the absense of water could lead to the whale suffocating due to the sheer weight of its body.

Whales to be euthanized

According to Eye Witness News the whales which were still on shore will be euthanized as their conditions had deteriorated.

Update: 34 of the whales had to be euthanized. 20 of the whales were successfully rescued.

Related links
Dozens of whales beach at Kommetjie - IOL
Beached whales to be euthanized - EWN
Photo source


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