All that You Need to Know about the Recent Whale Stranding in Sri Lanka!
All that You Need to Know about the Recent Whale Stranding in Sri Lanka!

As you might already know, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with golden shores. Moreover, its rolling waves create perfect surroundings for gigantic whales, as well as for dolphins. Thus, the beauty that they add to the Sri Lankan waves, making them more and more alluring is simply impressive. Moreover, their presence is indeed an asset for the marine ecosystems, as well as for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. However, what we are going to share with you today is quite different. A shoal of whales has beached themselves on the shores of Panadura, Sri Lanka. And fortunately, Sri Lankans have returned them back to the deep seas, after this whale stranding.

Of course, whale stranding is not that of a news for this world in the present. Still, the number of whales stranded and the number returned back to the blue waters counts to more than 100. Thus, this simply happens to be a great news for the Sri Lankans, as well as for nature lovers worldwide. So, excited to know what really happened? We are sure you are! Continue reading, and you will get to know everything about this incident.

What really happened?

To be exact this incident took place at the shores of Panadura, on Monday, the 2nd November 2020. Shoals of whales began to beach themselves to this shore on the southwest coast of the island, located around 25 km away from Colombo. On this day, that area was under a curfew with regard to the Coronavirus. Owing to this fact, the shores were literally lonely. However, towards the afternoon that day, a fisherman living in that area spotted this atypical incident and informed the authorities.

Accordingly, teams from the Sri Lankan Navy and Police, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), as well as from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) arrived at this location. After observing the situation, they started the mission of helping the whales back to the sea. However, owing to the number of whales beached, this mission was never an easy task. Specifically, more than 100 whales were stranded, and whales being gigantic in nature, rescuing them was indeed tiresome. Of course, the teams could not handle it alone. Hence, even within the curfew, villagers who got to know about this incident gathered to the shore to join this worthwhile cause.

The mission took longer than anyone expected. However, by the dawn of the next day, the teams of the authorities, together with the villagers, rescued nearly 120 whales. And the significant fact is, even though the villagers joined the mission, the whales were pushed back to water under the supervision of the respective experts. Thus, necessary techniques were used, and there was no harm in the course of pushing them back to the deep waters. Nevertheless, three whales, and a dolphin died, since they lacked the strength to swim back to the deep waters, after fighting to stay afloat for several hours.

What was the Reason behind this Whale Stranding?

The exact reason behind this specific whale stranding is indeed a mystery. Following this incident, Dr. Asha De Vos, the world popular Sri Lankan marine biologist, expressed her views to news agency AFP with regard. She too reveals. that the scientists are still researching the reasons behind mass whale strandings. Moreover, she also confirmed that these whales stranded on the Panadura shores are short-finned Pilot whales. Further explaining, she discloses that the Pilot whales happen to be a highly social mammal group. They are species that travel in groups with constant communications. Owing to this fact, groups of pilot whales stranding are common in nature. Considering all these facts, she brings out a general assumption that as a result of one whale reaching the shore, this whale stranding might have happened.   

Furthermore, she also appreciated how Sri Lankans joined this mission, battling amidst the waves in the dark. As she reveals pushing Pilot whales back to water in such an instance should be done with care, since they can be easily injured. In a situation as such, rescuing almost all the pilot whales on a shore is indeed a victory.

After all, this happens to be the largest single pod of whale stands in the whole of South Asia. Even the Marine Environment Protection Authority confirms this fact to the AFP news agency. A similar incident took place on the coast of Tasmania in Australia last September, causing death to hundreds of whales. However, it was the first time that the villagers in Panadura witnessed such an incident. Yet, their mindful actions in informing the authorities and voluntarily joining the mission prevented a tragedy. Thanks to the untiring efforts of the respective teams and the volunteer villages, Sri Lankan could rescue a great number of whales.