Fri, 6 November 2020
Marine Scientists, Volunteers, and the Navy were responsible for saving 120 pilot whales that were found stranded earlier in the week (on Monday). The stranding marked the largest mass stranding ever recorded in Sri Lankan history. The response was swift and successful as the Navy deployed small vessels that towed the whales out from the surf into deeper water where they could recover and swim out safely without getting stuck.
Pilot whales are notorious for mass strandings. A few months ago, there were 470 pilot whales stranded in Tasmania, Australia, where only 120 whales could be rescued. I talked about that story in episode 1061.
Dr. Asha de Vos was part of the rescue efforts where she provided first-hand accounts of what was happening on the ground. She addressed concerns from people on Twitter who thought rescuers were being too rough with the whales; however, Asha made people aware of how hard it is to move a 3000kg whale in the surf to get it to deeper water where you don't have any footing. Asha's account provides us with a better perspective on the challenges faced by rescuers while trying to save whales.
We are very fortunate to have the Sri Lankan Navy, Marine Scientists like Asha, and volunteers whose tireless efforts were successful in rescuing 120 pilot whales.
Would you volunteer to rescue stranded whales?
Dr. Asha de Vos' SUFB Episodes:
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Direct download: SUFB_S1078_LargestMassStrandingInSriLankaHasAHappyEnding.mp3
Category:Whales -- posted at: 12:00am EST