Are Humans to Blame For Mass Whale Beach Strandings?
Stranded humpback whale, Illaroo, Yuraygir, NSW, Australia. Photo source: ©© NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
Of all cetaceans, whales and dolphins, pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves.
Indeed, their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single ‘leader’. This may be one reason for the strange behaviour of about 100 pilot whales that are currently circling off Loch Carnan in South Uist.
An ailing whale will often head for the shore, possibly because it can no longer support itself in the water (and might therefore drown)…