Whales in Calais - level 3
Ten pilot whales were found stranded on a beach in the French region of Calais. Authorities managed to safely return three of the long-finned whales back to the sea. However, by the time rescue teams arrived, six of them had already died. Fire crews sprayed the animals with water as they tried to save them. The last whale died as rescuers attempted to return it to the water.
Officials say the pod were likely from the same family and the beaching may have followed the death of a dominant male.
"The first big fact we can confirm is that there is a large dominant male which is dead and a female, roughly of the same age, which is also dead. Personally, I believe these animals were migrating. I think that the male or female, or both, died out at sea and all of the group drifted ashore at the same time.”
It's the first time in thirty years that this number of whales has beached in the French region.
Autopsies will be carried out at the University of Liege to determine the cause of death.
Difficult words: stranded (unable to move), fin (a body part which a fish uses to swim), attempt (to try), pod (a group of whales), drift (to be carried by water), autopsy (an examination of a dead body), determine (to find out).
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