Over 50 pilot whales have died after stranding on the shoreline in the Outer Hebrides.
Rescuers, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), the police, and local fire service worked for many hours to try to refloat the whales at Traigh Mhor, on the Isle of Lewis. Sadly, all 55 whales died.
It is thought that the whale pod got into difficulties after a female beached on the shoreline whilst trying to give birth, and the rest may have followed her into the shallow water.
Pilot whales can strand in large numbers as they live in very tight social groups and, when a lead individual has made a navigational mistake or one of the group is sick or wounded, the rest of their pod frequently follow that individual towards the shoreline and into trouble.
WDC helps with strandings around the world and works on projects seeking to understand why whales and dolphins strand. Please donate