55 beached whales raise alarm in Africa | world | Hindustan Times
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55 beached whales raise alarm in Africa

Authorities are warning surfers to beware of sharks off South Africa's coast where 55 whales beached themselves near Cape Point.

world Updated: May 31, 2009 23:20 IST

Authorities are warning surfers to beware of sharks off South Africa's coast where 55 whales beached themselves near Cape Point.

Hundreds of volunteers had tried to push the false killer whales back out to sea without success Saturday before a dozen whales died of exhaustion and stress and 40 were shot by authorities. The bodies of three more whales washed up overnight.

Ian Klopper of the National Sea Rescue Institute says authorities will clear the carcasses on Sunday.

In the meantime officials are urging people to be careful of sharks that may be looking for the whale carcasses. The waters off Cape Town are teeming with Great White Sharks, and Klopper says shark activity usually increases when whales die.

Authorities have began the grim task of removing the carcasses of 55 whales that beached themselves and had to be shot despite the frantic rescue efforts of hundreds of volunteers. Police had to put down 44 of the exhausted false killer whales to end their suffering.