whales-die-AFP-670
In this handout photograph released by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Department of Environment and Forestry on October 25, 2012, over 40 short-finned pilot whales lie on the beach in a mass stranding on the west coast of the remote Indian Andaman islands in the Bay of Bengal on October 25, 2012. — Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: About 40 whales died in a mass stranding on the west coast of India’s remote North Andaman island in the Bay of Bengal, wildlife officials said on Thursday.

“The short-finned pilot whales were found by fishermen who alerted us and investigations show it was a case of mass stranding,” said Ajai Saxena, a wildlife official in Port Blair, capital of the islands.

Mr Saxena said no previous mass stranding had been reported in the Andamans, but that it was a natural phenomenon that occurs when whales get disoriented and are unable to swim back into deep water.

Stranding is also thought to occur when a pod follows a sick or an injured whale into the shallows, experts say.

Emergency teams and local volunteers headed to the beach near Elizabeth Bay on the North Andaman island where the whales were stranded, but they were unable to help.

“The mammals are so heavy, it is impossible to move them back to the waters,” Mr Saxena said. A post-mortem has been conducted on one of adults, which weighed two tons.—AFP

Opinion

Fear and abuse
Updated 23 Jun 2021

Fear and abuse

Paedophiles and sexual abusers are present in many professions but clerical sexual abuse is of a particularly egregious character.
Diplomatic blundering
Updated 23 Jun 2021

Diplomatic blundering

Foreign policy is too serious a matter to be left to an individual’s political ambitions.
Loss of homes
22 Jun 2021

Loss of homes

For the vulnerable, a shelter is much more than a dwelling.

Editorial

PM’s views on rape
Updated 23 Jun 2021

PM’s views on rape

Rape is a crime primarily of power rather than lust, rooted in a contempt for others’ bodily integrity.
23 Jun 2021

Gas concerns

CONSUMERS face the prospect of ominous blackouts next month owing to the closure of two gas fields in Sindh, the ...
23 Jun 2021

New Iranian president

SAYYID Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s new president, is taking over at a time of great geopolitical flux, while the Islamic...
Describing OBL
22 Jun 2021

Describing OBL

FM Qureshi’s non-committal reply to question about Osama being a terrorist or a martyr has sent the wrong message to the world.
22 Jun 2021

A neglected sector

THE PTI legislators joined forces with opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly the other day to take their own...
22 Jun 2021

Air safari

THE resumption of PIA’s air safari flights to Skardu will hopefully attract international and domestic tourists,...