After failing to swim to deeper water, 24 of the 27 beached pilot whales died despite rescue attempts.
In the Gulf of California, a group of 27 pilot whales became beached after swimming along near the fishing port of San Felipe. Rescue crews worked overnight to move the whales to deeper waters, resulting in a 15-hour rescue operation.
The whales had no signs of injuries or entanglement from fishing nets, leading experts to believe that they merely became disoriented while swimming, as the Los Angeles Times reported. PROFEPA, Mexico’s environmental protection agency, sent crews and volunteers to the scene for the mission.
Fishermen, residents, personnel, and military officials alike moved to the beach to try and save the pilot whales, but only were able to save three: one adult and two calves
PROFEPA believes that the whales traveled together ashore, despite knowing danger was imminent. As the statement they issued read, pilot whales “have strong social cohesion and they don’t abandon other whales that are in danger, even if it means death.”