Beachgoers help rescue dozens of stranded whales

As evening falls, DNR and volunteers move a stranded whale past the St. Simons pier. ©Tyler Jones/DNR

Beachgoers, wildlife officials and lifeguards in Georgia pitched in to help free dozens of stranded whales earlier this month. About 50 live short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) beached themselves or came dangerous close to beaching themselves on St. Simons Island in the state’s southeast. Some of the whales continued to try swimming ashore after being freed, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said that at least three of the whales died. Necropsies on these whales showed mild signs of disease, but nothing out of the ordinary so far, according to a DNR newsletter. Researchers are unsure why the whales stranded themselves, but it could be due to faulty echolocation signals which don’t work as well in shallow water, or due their strong pod loyalty — as one whale gets beached, the others may have tried to help out.

Read more at Live Science.