Pod of Whales Stranded Twice on Beach in Donegal have Little Chance of Survival

Pod of Whales Stranded Twice on Beach in Donegal have Little Chance of Survival

A pod of whales that have stranded twice on a beach in Donegal are fighting for its survival.

On Sunday night or Monday morning, 13 long-finned whales were beached near Falcarragh. A group of around 100 locals helped nine of the whales to return to shallow water. Remaining four died on the beach.

Many of the whales that were rescued initially were found to be stranded for the second time around a high tide along the beach on Ballyness Bay. As per the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the whales that have again stranded are in poor condition. Their muscles were stiffened and were unable to keep themselves in upright position in sea and may also get confused and disoriented.

"If you could pluck them out of there and set them gently into deep water and hold them until their muscles relaxed they'd have some chance", affirmed IWDG member Mick O'Connell.

One of the whales, which initially returned to shallow waters, and again stranded, shows blemishes and lumps on its skin. Seeing its condition, it can be considered that it might have fallen ill and had led the pod in shallow waters the first time.

Mr. O'Connell said whales' eco-location could get hampered by the shallow waters. This loss proves quite taxing for a pod of whales and it gets very difficult to save them even if right equipment is present.

A post-mortem carried out on them within 24 to 48 hours could reveal if one or the entire pod has suffered from an illness. The recent incident is the 13th stranding reported on Donegal shores this year.

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