Despite the efforts of rescuers, a young pilot whale has died after six of the mammals were stranded near Sunken Meadow in Eastham, Massachusetts Monday night.
The whales were first spotted Monday night and a small team of researchers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare headed out to examine them, tagging two of them with satellite trackers. Tuesday morning scouts found that one of the whales, a calf, had died, and the group remains in the same area.
Brian Sharp, director of marine mammal rescue & research at IFAW, said rescuers are currently offering supportive care, including IV fluids, while they wait for higher tides to move the animals.
"Right now we just need the tide to come in and help us refloat because these animals are so large," Sharp said. The largest is estimated to be around 4,000 pounds.
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Better tide conditions are expected around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday.
The IFAW is a global nonprofit group that works to help people and animals coexist.
Experts say the geography of the Cape Cod peninsula can create conditions for strandings. The area is known as having the most dolphin strandings in the world. Earlier this year two pilot whales died after they became stranded off Chatham.