Aussies Can't Save 87 Stranded Whales
But rescuers are ultimately able to save only four
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2009 11:40 AM CDT
Dead long-finned pilot whales lie on a beach at Hamelin Bay after they beached themselves in Western Australia, Monday, March 23,2009.   (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)
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(Newser) – Rescue crews saved four long-finned pilot whales after a mass stranding in Western Australia’s Hamelin Bay, but scores of others died, the West Australian reports. Eighty-seven whales and dolphins beached Monday, prompting more than 250 volunteers and 100 conservation workers to spend a near-freezing night on the beach nursing the survivors with by pouring water on them and making sure their blowholes were clear.

Eleven of the surviving marine mammals were then put on trucks to be released into the deeper water of nearby Flinders Bay. One of those had trouble breathing and had to be euthanized. All seemed well for the survivors until this morning, when six landed again on a beach inaccessible to rescue equipment. Two were already dead, and the remaining four whales will be put down today.