20 stranded whales die

2011-07-23 10:39

At least 20 whales have died after being stranded on the coast of Scotland.

A major rescue operation to save them failed, an animal welfare charity said yesterday.

About 60 pilot whales found themselves in shallow water at low tide, near the town of Kyle of Durness in northwestern Scotland, according to the charity organisation British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Of those, 35 beached when the water receded.

Rescuers managed to refloat some of the mammals using inflatable pontoons, as well as herding others back into deeper water.

Many of the whales had stranded on their sides, on top of each other and upside down, rescuers said, adding that they were inhaling sand as a result.

Whales have repeatedly become stranded along the Scottish and Irish coasts.

Last year, 33 were found dead on the shore in the Irish county of Donegal.

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