Why did whales beach themselves on St. Simons? No answers yet

Local News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – Georgia wildlife officials say examinations of the carcasses of three pilot whales yielded no immediate answers to why they swam ashore and died on a popular beach last week.

The three whales are the only ones found dead after dozens of the large marine mammals swam perilously close to the shore of St. Simons Island on July 16. Vacationers joined lifeguards and state wildlife crews in the water to keep most of the whales off the beach.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said in a statement Thursday that necropsies performed on the three dead whales found no wounds from boat collisions, ingested plastic or other obvious clues as to why they beached themselves.

The agency says follow-up tests will include microscopic examination of tissue samples. Results could take months.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources personnel and beachgoers struggle to keep a short-fin pilot whale from crashing into the seawall on St. Simons Island, Ga., Tuesday, July16, 2019. Dozens of pilot whales beached themselves on a Georgia shore and most were rescued by authorities and onlookers who pulled the animals further into the water. (Bobby Haven /The Brunswick News via AP)

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