Entire Pilot Whale Pod
Dies Off Cape Cod


CAPE COD, Massachusetts  (ENS) - Forty-six pilot whales, stranded and rescued on Monday, again stranded themselves Tuesday in Wellfleet Bay a few miles from the site of their previous rescue.
This triggered a second day of response from the Cape Cod Stranding Network and its co-founding organization the International Fund for Animals Welfare (IFAW).
Despite the remote location, more than 100 volunteers worked for hours pouring water over the animals and covering them in wet towels to keep them cool during the heat. Even though 14 whales died at the scene, 31 were returned to the water after the tide had come in.
However, within hours of their release all 31 whales once again stranded in Wellfleet near the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary. After assessing the whales' condition, rescuers euthanized 25 and the other six died naturally.
"The mood is a mixture of sadness and success," said A.J. Cady, leader of the IFAW response team.
"We weren't able to return these animals to the water, but millions of people all over the world have reconnected to whales. It is important to remember we still have a chance to save thousands of these animals every year by working to stop continued commercial whaling in Japan and Norway," Cady said.
The Cape Cod Stranding Network today has returned to the scene to remove the whales and take them to a facility so they can perform necropsies.
These strandings were the most dramatic in recent years and the largest stranding of pilot whales on Cape Cod in more than a decade.
Pilot whales have extensive family structures and swim in groups, called pods, of five to 100 animals. They are still being hunted in some countries, and IFAW says little is known about the current total population of pilot whales worldwide.


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