Pod of 55 beached Pilot Whales at Kommetjie

Around 7:30 this morning a pod of (originally thought 47) 55 Pilot Whales started beaching themselves at Kommetjie Beach.

The NSRI are urging people NOT to go down to the beach as the throngs of people are hampering their efforts to rescue the whales and return them to deeper waters.

It still seems no one really knows why whales beach themselves but it’s thought that since they swim in large pods the rest of the whales may be following a sick/beached leader. Another theory is that since they rely on magnetic waves to navigate themselves that some coastlines may have strong magentic forces which lead the whales to believe they’re entering deeper waters and not the coastline.

You can see some pictures here, here and here.

Update: almost 3 hours later and it appears reports are coming in that they have had to resort to shooting some of the whales that keep returning and rebeaching themselves. More photos here, here, here and here.

Listen here for an on the scene audio report with Dave Bull from The Times with Lauren Cohen.

IOL News reports that steps to euthanise the rebeaching whales will have to be taken.

“We have tried everything but they just make a U-turn and keep rebeaching themselves,” said Wally Peterson, project manager for the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness group.

Rice said the whales would be shot through the head with a pistol.

“I feel quite sad but it is the right thing to do,” she said. – source IOL

VOTD: Sorry I'm Late

Here’s a great stop-motion animation clip titled “Sorry I’m Late” shot from above with a still camera. The final sequence is in the video clip below – but you can see still and test videos on the official website here. [via BoingBoing]