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Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

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Death Toll Rises In Scottish Stranding

Update: 10/09/2012

Some of the whales remain in the Firth of Forth. There is thought to be a large amount of squid in the Firth at present (a favourite prey of pilot whales). Sadly, the body of a young calf was recovered over the weekend.

Original story:

A group of pilot whales stranded overnight in Fife, Scotland.

WDCS sent a team from its Scottish Dolphin Centre to the scene and we will be investigating the possible causes of this stranding.

Several animals died but rescuers were able to refloat a number of whales at high tide. One whale is known to have restranded at Leith.

The whales are now being monitored in the hope that they will not restrand. Latest reports state that they have been sighted heading west into the Firth from where, it is hoped, they will head out to sea and North.

Long-finned pilot whales are amongst those whale species known to regularly mass live strand around the world. They live in very tightly socially knit schools which works well out in the deep seas. In shallow conditions, however, this same life strategy gets them into trouble and, as they try to help each other, they may all come ashore.

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