Twelve false killer whales beached at Al Sawadi Beach in January 2013. Members of the public tried to return the animals back to the sea prior to the arrival of experts, with all but one subsequently restranding and dying.
Considered one of the ‘hotspots’ for whale strandings, New Zealand’s largest reported mass stranding took place in 1918, when 1,000 whales beached at Chatham Islands. More recently, hundreds of pilot whales died after nearly 700 were found on the beaches of Farewell Spit in February 2017.
One of the largest known mass beachings in the last century was of false killer whales in October 1946, when an estimated 835 were stranded near Mar del Plata in Argentina.
In December 2015, more than 300 whales were discovered washed up on a remote Patagonian inlet in southern Chile.
In April 2015, around 150 melon-headed whales were discovered washed up on a stretch of beach in Japan.
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