On November 2, local time, about 120 pilot whales, also known as giant whales, ran aground en masse off the coast of Panadule, near Colombo, Sri Lanka, the largest whale stranding in the country’s history,media reported. In less than an hour, the number of stranded whales has increased to about 100, the local police chief said. Local villagers tried to push them back into the sea, but the whales continued to wash ashore, and eventually the Sri Lankan navy came to their rescue.
After nearly 70 local coastguards, volunteers and navy personnel 18 hours of overnight rescue, more than 100 whales were sent back to the sea, four whales died.
Sri Lankan marine biologists say it was the largest whale stranding in Sri Lanka, a highly socialized animal, but the cause of the stranding is not yet known.
Pilot whale strandings have occurred repeatedly around the world, with 270 pilot whales stranded on the sandbars of McQuarrie Harbour on Australia’s west coast on September 21.