More than 50 pilot whales stranded on Scottish beaches as rescuers battle high winds and rain to save them
The Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team was dispatched after the alarm was raised at 7.45am.
A large pod of more than 50 pilot whales has been stranded on a beach in the Outer Hebrides, with police urging people to stay away.
Rescuers are battling rain and strong winds to save the animals, but many are believed to have tragically lost their lives.
The location of the Isle of Lewis is currently not being disclosed by British Divers Marine Life Rescue to discourage large gatherings.
The Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team was dispatched to the beach after the alarm was raised at 7.45am today.
Long-finned pilot whales are highly social animals that have been recorded in aggregations of over 1,000 individuals in only a few animal groups.
A large pod of more than 50 pilot whales has been stranded in the Outer Hebrides
Rescuers battled through the rain and high winds to save the animals but many are believed to have tragically lost their lives
One of the rescuers saw the animals drowning in water and desperately trying to keep them alive
About a dozen rescuers were pictured taking part in rescue efforts on the Isle of Lewis
A rescue team was seen drowning the animals as they desperately tried to keep them alive.
Whales have also been seen being dragged back out to sea on tarpaulins.
Pilot whales are well known for their extensive stranding behavior and in 1992 eleven animals were stranded on Lewis Island.
In July 2011 a pod of pilot whales became stranded in the Kyle of Durness, Sutherland, in what is believed to be Scotland’s largest ever. About 19 of the 70 whales died.
Four large bombs detonated underwater by the Royal Navy were later blamed by government scientists for the massive holdup.
Pilot whales are well known for their mass stranding behavior
The latest stranding comes after Scotland’s biggest event in July 2011 at the Kyle of Durness in Sutherland.
A long-delayed report by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the noise from the explosions could damage the whales’ hearing and navigation, causing them to die on beaches.
Long-finned pilot whales occasionally perform bow rides, tail slaps and spy-hops – raising their heads vertically out of the water – although they are more often encountered resting at the surface, known as logging.
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