A pod of 33 mother and baby pilot whales succumbed after casting themselves onto the shores of Rutland Island in County Donegal of the Republic of Ireland. Dr. Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said it was one of the biggest such whale tragedies in the country’s history.
The cause of the beaching is not certain but is thought to be possibly related to sonar equipment used during naval exercises. This pod of whales is believed to be the same one sighted in late October off the west coast of Scotland, with organizations such as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals placed on alert for possible beaching due to observation of the whales’ labored breathing and other signs of distress.
Although there had been no reports of recent military activity, a spokesperson for the region’s Coastguard stated that several mass strandings of whales had also been linked to the use of naval sonar in the past.
We are deeply saddened by the untimely end to the majestic whales. Our prayers that human’s respectful interaction with the environment will protect these marine beings and all forms of life on our planet.During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed her heartfelt concern for the vulnerable lives on the planet and urged for humanity’s greater consideration.