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Pilot Whales Beach Themselves on St. Simons Island

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. – Multiple Pilot whales (Globicephala melas) repeatedly beached themselves on Georgia’s St. Simons Island today, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“While stranding is a known natural occurrence, the only thing we can do is to continue pushing them out to sea,” says Wildlife Biologist Clay George.

Personnel from the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, DNR Coastal Resources Division, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, NOAA, Glynn County Emergency Management and others participated in efforts to push several beached whales back out to sea, with some animals continuing to return to the beach. While some animals were successfully pushed back out, two of the whales have died. These whales will be taken for a necropsy. The remaining whales were last seen swimming in the sound, and it is hoped they will continue to keep moving out to sea.

Among cetaceans, pilot whales are the most common species known to strand in mass numbers.

For more information on wildlife in Georgia, visit the www.georgiawildlife.com.