Forty whales die in mass stranding on Indian island

Oct 25, 2012
Over 40 short-finned pilot whales are seen on the beach in a mass stranding on the west coast of the remote Indian Andaman islands in the Bay of Bengal on October 25. The whales were found by fishermen.

About 40 whales died in a mass stranding on the west coast of India's remote North Andaman island in the Bay of Bengal, wildlife officials said on Thursday.

"The short-finned pilot were found by fishermen who alerted us and investigations show it was a case of mass stranding," said Ajai Saxena, a wildlife official in Port Blair, capital of the islands.

Saxena said no previous mass stranding had been reported in the Andamans, but that it was a natural phenomenon that occurs when whales get disoriented and are unable to swim back into deep water.

Stranding is also thought to occur when a pod follows a sick or an injured whale into the shallows, experts say.

Emergency teams and local volunteers headed to the beach near Elizabeth Bay on the North Andaman island where the whales were stranded, but they were unable to help.

"The are so heavy, it is impossible to move them back to the waters," Saxena told AFP.

A post-mortem has been conducted on one of adults, which weighed two tonnes.

The Andaman and Nicobar islands are Indian territory, though they are at least 600 miles (1,000 kilometres) from the mainland and are closer to the coast of Myanmar.

Explore further: Research shows impact of BMR on brain size in fish

Related Stories

Ninety whales stranded on New Zealand beach

Jan 23, 2012

A pod of 90 pilot whales have beached themselves at the top of New Zealand's South island, in the same area where seven whales died in a mass stranding earlier this month, according to officials.

Recommended for you

Research shows impact of BMR on brain size in fish

Apr 24, 2015

A commonly used term to describe nutritional needs and energy expenditure in humans – basal metabolic rate – could also be used to give insight into brain size of ocean fish, according to new research by Dr Teresa Iglesias ...

Why do animals fight members of other species?

Apr 23, 2015

Why do animals fight with members of other species? A nine-year study by UCLA biologists says the reason often has to do with "obtaining priority access to females" in the area.

Dolphins use extra energy to communicate in noisy waters

Apr 23, 2015

Dolphins that raise their voices to be heard in noisy environments expend extra energy in doing so, according to new research that for the first time measures the biological costs to marine mammals of trying ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.