Tragic mass stranding in Western Australia

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Tragic mass stranding in Western Australia

The incident has already resulted in more than 140 deaths, with only a handful of animals still alive

A large stranding event has decimated a pod of short-finned pilot whales on the west coast of Australia, with more than 150 animals found beached.

Members of the public came across the group on Friday, with an army of local volunteers and experts rapidly mobilised in an effort to rescue them at a beach in Hamelin Bay, Western Australia.

Unfortunately many of the animals died very quickly, with some reports suggesting that as many as 140 of the animals have died so far. Rescue efforts are continuing to try and save the remaining members of the group.

Pilot whales are one of the species most commonly involved in mass strandings, due to the strong and sophisticated social structures they exhibit. One individual beaching can result in the other members of the pod following them into trouble, and this can significantly hamper work to refloat the animals in question.

Strandings of whales and dolphins happen for a variety of reasons, with possible causes including pollution, illness and injury. Incidents can happen across the world, with a sperm whale stranding in Scotland just two days ago.