'Unlikely' whales stranded on Donegal beach will survive 

'Unlikely' whales stranded on Donegal beach will survive 
Whales washed up off the coast of Donegal. Picture: Thomas and Louise Coleman and the IWDG

A huge operation is underway off the coast of Donegal after a group of Northern Bottlenose Whales became stranded on a beach today.

The group of Northern Bottlenose Whales came ashore at Rossnowlagh this morning.

A spokesperson for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said there very little can be done to help the dying animals.

"It looks unlikely sadly (that they will survive). At the moment palliative care is being given by trained members of our stranding network.

"All we can do is to ask people to keep their distance in order to reduce the stress on them and to give them space and respect."

Trained staff from the IWDG and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are on site.

"Please give them space and respect to die without too much stress," said a spokesperson for the IWDG.

Whales washed up off the coast of Donegal. Picture: Thomas and Louise Coleman and the IWDG
Whales washed up off the coast of Donegal. Picture: Thomas and Louise Coleman and the IWDG

The deep-diving offshore species of whales are the largest member of the beaked whale family.

The tide is now coming in on the live stranded animals with some stranded and some are still in the water.

All are alive but stressed with high breathing rates, according to the IWDG.

The volunteers are now providing some first aid on the beach.

A spokesperson for the IWDG said the euthanasia of whales of this size very difficult without Immobolin, which is not available in the Republic of Ireland.

"Shooting requires highly trained personnel," the spokesperson added.

The NPWS and Donegal County Council are on their way to assess the situation.

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