TUTICORIN: Since Monday evening, a number of small whales (short finned pilot whales) have washed ashore in Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu. According to a TNN report, more than 100 whales were seen on the 16km stretch from Alanthalai to Kallamozhi coastal hamlets by Tuesday morning.
About 20 whales were feared dead on the shore, while others were struggling for their lives. Local fishermen joined hands to save the whales by pulling them back to the sea. Rajan, a fisherman in Manapad said, “The whales started reaching the shore in groups around 5pm. It is very strange. In 1973 when we were boys, we witnessed same phenomenon. However, not these many washed ashore then.”
Ditto Mascarenhas of Kulasekarapattinam believes that, had it not been for the local fishermen and their vigil, many whales would have died. The fishermen remained conscious the whole night to continue to save the whales, by pulling them back to the sea.
M Ravikumar, Tuticorin’s district collector, inspected the coast and said, officials were looking into the matter to find the cause for such a massive number of whales reaching the shore.
A team from the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park in Ramanathapuram has reached the location.