Accoring to environmental conservation non-profit BIOS.CV, at least 136 melon-headed whales are dead after a mass stranding event off the coast of Western Africa last week.
This comes just after roughly 100 volunteers attempted to re-introduce a total of 163 adult and juvenile calf whales back into the water on the island of of Boa Vista after stranding events. While it appears that some of the animals are still out at sea, the majority of the whales became beached again resulting in mass casualties.
Samples were taken from 50 of the whales and another four whales were frozen for future examination to try and determine what was the cause of death.
Mass stranding across the world have occurred at fairly high rates in the last few years, including one mass stranding in New Zealand which saw 145 pilot whales beach themselves and eventually died.
It is still not entirely known why these mass stranding due occur put researchers have started to narrow down culprits in certain situations. While many factors determine the fate of marine animals across the oceans including chasing prey or being chased by predators to the point of becoming beached, researchers have narrowed in on climate change, decreased protections worldwide for ceteceans and naval sonar impacts as the biggest issues faced today.