Whales Washing onto Shore in Sri Lanka Rescued

On Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, the Sri Lankan navy as well as residents teamed up to save the pilot whales that had washed onto the shore in Sri Lanka.

Up to 120 pilot whales washed onto Sri Lanka’s beach shores. The people of Sri Lanka including the navy came together to rescue the creatures and push them back into deep waters, it was the nation’s biggest stranding.

On Monday, 2nd November, three pilot whales and one dolphin had already died on the shore in Sri Lanka due to injuries. Most of this took place on the western coast at Panadura and 25 km south of the capital Colombo.

On Tuesday afternoon, a couple of whales started washing onto the Sri Lankan shore, and their number had reached over one hundred by the dusk. It left the people of Sri Lanka in a panic, overwhelmed, and desperate to help.

“Some of the fishermen from the area tried to push back the whales. The sea was rough, and the waves would bring them back to shore,” Pathum Hirushan, a resident, said. “It was very tiring, but later the navy came in with their boats and worked through the night.”

Moreover, when the navy arrived; it along with several volunteers were able to shift the whales from the shore to the deep waters, through a small patrol craft by dawn on Tuesday. Multiple Sri Lankan volunteers showed up to help the officials in shifting the whales, even though Sri Lanka was under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pilot whales can usually grow up to six meters which is twenty feet, and weigh a ton; they are usually very social animals. Scientists are yet to find out the sudden rise in the causes of the whales washing onto shores in Sri Lanka.

The wildlife department’s chief veterinarian Tharaka Prasad said autopsies were carried out on the dead whales and officials were “satisfied they were disoriented”.

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