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Dozens of pilot whales beach on western Australian coast


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Dozens of pilot whales beached on the western Australian coast and wildlife authorities were trying to rescue them, officials said Thursday.

Between 50 and 100 whales were stranded at Toby’s Inlet near the tourist town of Dunsborough, the Parks and Wildlife Service of Western Australia state said in a statement.

Staff from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Perth Zoo veterinarians were being deployed, the statement said.

Dunsborough is 285 kilometers (177 miles) by road south of Perth, the state’s capital and largest city.

Officials urged the public not to try to rescue the whales on their own.

“We know people want to help, but we asked that people please do not attempt to rescue the animals without direction of DBCA staff as this may cause further injury, and distress to the animals and hinder a coordinated rescue effort,” the statement said.

Almost 100 long-finned pilot whales died or were euthanized after a two-day rescue attempt last July in a mass stranding on Cheynes Beach near the former whaling station of Albany, 355 kilometers (220 miles) southeast of Dunsborough.

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