Mon, November 08, 2010
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Mass whale deaths on Irish beach

2010-11-08 07:43:55 GMT2010-11-08 15:43:55 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The cause of one of Ireland's biggest mass deaths of whales remains a mystery at this point.

Up to 35 of the mammals have been found on a beach in County Donegal.

Most were mothers and calves.

Parks and Wildlife Ranger Emear McGee believes illness within the group brought them inshore.

SOUNDBITE: Irish Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Ranger Emear McGee saying (English):

"They all stay together so healthy ones come ashore with the sick ones because they are a very strong social group and the sick and healthy died here together.

Ferry workers used to seeing the group at sea say it's a tragedy.

SOUNDBITE: Seamus Boyle, Arranmore Fast Ferries employee, saying (English):

"I just couldn't believe what's happened after watching them the past few days, swimming about and the passengers getting excited and photographing them, and just to see them just dead now is hard to believe."

Scientists are studying samples from the remains of the animals which may reveal what led to their deaths.

They say it's thought to be the third largest stranding of whales ever seen on Ireland's shores.

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