herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Pod of 13 whales die on Donegal beach

THIRTEEN whales beached in Donegal died despite desperate efforts by volunteers to help rescue them.

Irish Coast Guard teams and members of the National Parks and Wildlife Service yesterday sealed off two beaches in Ballyness Bay, outside Falcarragh, to allow the whales to die.

Although eight of the pilot 
whales did return to sea on the high tide they later beached again and died there last night.

But experts said that the deaths of the whales was just 'part of nature' and people should not try to rescue 
others.

Rescue

Local people spent hours pouring water over the 13 animals when they beached at the bay yesterday morning,

At one stage more than 100 people were involved in the rescue attempts including local councillor Seamus O Domhnaill.

Dave Duggan, deputy regional manager for the Irish Wildlife Service, said it was his belief that beached whales should be allowed to die.

Rescue attempts, he said, rarely worked and caused more distress to the whales.

"We asked people to let nature 
take its course. It is very unfortunate but it is not uncommon for pilot whales to be involved in mass beaching incidents like this," he said. "We know people mean well but attempts to refloat them are not usually successful and only cause more distress to them."

Donegal County Council are to help in the disposal of the 13 whales 
today.

hnews@herald.ie

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