Pilot whales mass strand in Kerry 03/08/09..UPDATE!

3rd Aug 2009 Report 9, 3 August 2009 @ 12:30

There have been no sightings of the pilot whales so far today. IWDG personnel and National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers monitored the coast of Tralee and Brandon Bays from first light yesterday 2 August. Despite good viewing conditions, the pilot whales could not be located. It is very likely that these whales will re-strand in the area, considering they are probably weak and dehydrated from not being able to forage in their natural environment.

We would like to reiterate that if the whales do reappear close to shore, attempting to swim with them is not recommended as this will only add to their ordeal. It should also be borne in mind that pilot whales have been known to attack humans and other mammals, although such behaviour is rare.

Report 8, 1 August 2009 @ 19:00

Reports just in from sandy Bay, Castlegregory that the pilot whales are back. They are back swimming back and forth in shallow water but not at present stranding. IWDG and NPWS are at the beach to assess the situation but little can be done tonight as there are only 2 hours of light left. Full resources will be made ready for the morning which will herald another day in this continuing saga.

There are a lot of visitors in the area for the August bank holiday weekend and great excitement has been caused by the sight of these deep diving pilot whales so close to shore. However, we urge people not to get too close to the pod in the water as this will only increase their stress and confusion. Close association, such as attempting to swim with them, is likely to end with someone being hurt as a stressed animal is unpredictable and they may also be protective of the two calves.



Report 7, 31 July 2009 @ 23:30

Extensive searches were carried out today (Friday 31 July) by IWDG members, NPWS staff and volunteers and the shoreline was checked from below Camp village, right the way around past Kilshannig, with the bay itself scanned using binoculars. Much to everyones surprise, there was no sign of the pod of pilot whales and although too early to say, perhaps they did manage to beat the odds and escape to deeper waters. Obviously if anybody finds any whales, dead or alive, please do contact the IWDG or NPWS.

We would like to thank eveybody for their contribution yesterday especially Tim O'Donoghue of NPWS who was on the beach from 7am. Thanks also to Kerry Co Co vet Paddy Fenton and Depart of Agriculture vet Alan Johnston for standing by should we require veterinary assistance. Another learning experience for us all and another fantastic response by the good people and agencies in North Kerry.

Report 7, 31 July 2009 @ 09:00

No reports of stranded whales have been received. NPWS and IWDG are searching the beaches this morning in and around Castlegregory and in Tralee Bay but no sign of the whales. Obviously this would be a most welcome outcome although one or two whales may be found washed up over the next few days.




Report 6, 30 July 2009 @ 21:00

As the sun set on Sandy Bay near Castlegregory the rescue teams left the beach fearing the whales will live strand during the night. If this happens it is likely they will be dead or near to dying in the morning. NPWS and the IWDG are on standby through the night should they strand. Tomorrow may bring another opportunity to carry out todays plan or provide an opportunity to post-mortem the whales to see what was the cause of the stranding.

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Report 5, 30 July 2009 @ 15:30

Based on observations, it is clear that it is only a matter of time before this pod live-strand again. We would much rather that this occur during day-light hours, when the condition of the individuals can