Local people continue to monitor the waters around Falcarragh, Co Donegal in Ireland following a mass stranding incident yesterday involving a pod of pilot whales. Nine of the whales managed to return back into open water but, despite help from over 100 local people, four of the whales died. Eyewitness reports state that one of the pilot whales appeared to be ill, which may have led to the other whales then getting into difficulty. 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.
Reports (July 10) now state that up to eight whales have now died following this stranding incident.