Posted by: The ocean update | August 5, 2015

Pilot whales rescued in Cape Breton under watch after ‘chaotic’ rescue ( Nova Scotia, Canada)

16 pilot whales became beached near Judique on Tuesday morning. (Submitted by Elaine Legault)

16 pilot whales became beached near Judique on Tuesday morning. (Submitted by Elaine Legault)

Residents in Judique, Fisheries and Oceans Canada keeping an eye on pilot whales

August 5th, 2015. An animal rescue society based in Nova Scotia is keeping a close eye on the movement of pilot whales off Judique in Cape Breton after 16 whales beached on the shore earlier this week.

Tonya Wimmer, the president of the Marine Animal Response Society, said local residents rescued eight of the animals, which headed back to deeper waters.

The other eight — including two large adult females and two very small calves — died and their carcasses remain on the beach, she said. The remaining carcasses pose a potential problem of the pod returning to the shallow waters where they got into trouble.

“They’ll make calls to each other about it, they can come back. It happens,” Wimmer told CBC’s Information Morning.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada did do a few patrols of the area to make sure the animals haven’t come ashore again somewhere else. And they hadn’t seen them, in the vicinity, swimming around.”

Whales are having babies

Wimmer said the scene on the beach was “chaotic” on Tuesday and it was difficult to keep track of how many animals rescuers were dealing with. They originally thought they’d saved 10 whales, but now say they saved eight.

She said residents did a superb job of co-ordinating the rescue. “Even dealing with one can be chaotic and hard to handle. We don’t know how long the animals had been on the beach before they were found.”

The number of animals and remoteness of the area prevented the society from doing complete necropsies, she said, although researchers were able to collect blood and obtain measurements and information on genetics.

The group will continue to be vigilant because pilot whales tend to be in shallow waters this time of year as they have babies and bring them in to feed.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada boats based in Cheticamp will also watch for the animals as they patrol waters in the area.

@Stranded No More

@Stranded No More

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