The Sri Lankan naval forces and volunteers rescued 120 black dolphins washed ashore. Unfortunately, at least two wounded animals were found dead, AFP reports.
Mariners from the Navy and Coast Guard, along with local volunteers, pushed aside at least 120 grinds after a grueling night rescue operation, Navy spokesman Indica de Silva said.
A flock of short-finned grinds washed ashore in Panadura, 25 km south of Colombo. This massive landfall incident was the largest on the island.
“We used our small coastal patrol boat to haul the whales back into deeper waters one by one,” de Silva told AFP about the progress of the grind rescue operation. “Unfortunately, two whales died from injuries sustained when they have washed ashore.”
Local authorities expected mass deaths of individuals, as it happened in Tasmania in September. Then about 470 grinds were stranded, and only about 110 of them were returned to the ocean after several days of rescue operations.
Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority has confirmed that the largest flock of whales stranded in a South Asian country has been seen in Panadur.
“It is very unusual for such a large number of individuals to reach our shores,” the head of the Darshani Lahandapura department told AFP, adding that the reason for the ashore is still unknown. However, he noted similarities to the Tasmania incident in September.
Grindas, which can grow up to 6m in length and weigh a ton, are very sociable by nature.
It is worth noting that the reasons for the massive emissions of black dolphins remain unknown, despite the fact that scientists have been studying this phenomenon for decades.