A group of melon-headed whales died in a mass stranding on Cape Verde’s Boa Vista island, Thursday, September 26, 2019.
The rescue teams counted 134 dead whales on Wednesday and autopsies are being carried out to try to determine the cause of death.
Many factors could contribute to such whale and dolphin strandings including sickness, navigational error, geographical features, a rapidly falling tide, being chased by a predator, extreme weather or sonar and military experiments.
Roughly two dozen pilot whales beached themselves on and near a Georgia barrier island, leaving 15 dead.
This is the whale species’ second mass stranding along the state’s coast since July.
Scientists are performing necropsies on the dead whales found on the privately owned St. Catherines Island roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Savannah for any clues to why the animals may have come ashore.
The beached whales on St. Catherines Island have been discovered Wednesday morning by a group of volunteers checking sea turtle nests for hatchlings. Others were found on beaches and marshes nearby.
About 26 total pilot whales were spotted in the area and crews were searching the nearby waters for signs of any more strandings.
The beached whales discovered Wednesday are “clearly not related to” any adverse effects from a capsized cargo ship that remains in the water after it overturned departing the Port of Brunswick on Sept. 8.
It’s been just over two months since at least 47 pilot whales swam perilously close the shore on St. Simons Island. Three of those whales died.
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