Whales beached in Australia are euthanized after rescue efforts fail

Dozens of pilot whales beached in Australia have been euthanized after rescue attempts were unsuccessful.

Context: The whales stranded themselves on Cheynes Beach near Albany in Western Australia on Tuesday, and many died overnight.
* Initial efforts by volunteers and officials were to push the surviving whales back into the water, but the pod ended up beaching itself again further down the shore.

Difficult decision: Because of the inability to reintroduce the whales to the water, the choice was made to euthanize the remaining survivors.
* Officials with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, along with veterinarians, decided to euthanize the remaining whales to prevent further suffering.

Wildlife insight: The social nature of pilot whales means mass strandings may indicate stress or illness within the pod.
* As per the Associated Press, such strandings could suggest internal problems within the group.

Final notes: The welfare of the whales was the priority in making the decision to euthanize, according to a statement by the Parks and Wildlife Service of Western Australia.
* The organization thanked everyone involved in the rescue attempts over the past two days.

View original article on NPR

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