Despite frantic efforts from the rescuers, seven pilot whales that came ashore on the Galapagos Islands died on Sunday. Five other members of the whale group, however, returned to the ocean.
The school of whales, 10-30 feet long, came ashore on Saturday near the southern town of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, the largest of the Galapagos. The rescuers left no stone unturned to rehabilitate the creatures and dug makeshift pools in the sand to keep them from dehydrating. But while five successfully returned to the sea, seven pilot whales die there.
Rosa Leon, a spokeswoman for the Galapagos National Park said,
We succeeded in moving five whales into the open sea, three miles from the shore, which we expect will keep them from returning.
This was the same island where a study of finches on the islands inspired Charles Darwin to come up with his theory of evolution. 625 miles off Ecuador’s coast, the Galapagos was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 for their exotic flora and fauna, which include giant tortoises, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies.
Photo Credit: AP/Parque Nacional Galapagos