Every year, thousands of whales are stranded around the world, and this week saw yet another stranded whale die in Argentina, despite efforts to rescue it. It is not always clear why they become stranded, but noise, pollution, fishing nets, and climate change are all thought to be factors. The whales can often find themselves lost and trapped in shallow water and many die within a few hours if unaided. Despite the odds stacked against them, here some photos of people attempting to save these beautiful creatures:
Diego Izquierdo/AFP/Getty ImagesThis whale in Mar del Plata, Argentina died on April 9, 2018 despite efforts to rescue it.
Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty ImagesMarine biologists and members of the fire department rescue team tried to help a beached whale at Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2004. After 58 hours of attempts, the whale died.Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty ImagesThe Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and environmental activists attempted to refloat nine stranded sperm whales in Aceh Besar in 2017. Four of the whales died.Gareth Davies/Getty ImagesIn 2006, a northern bottlenose whale swam down the River Thames after apparently getting lost. She was a long way from her home in the North Atlantic waters and died after a two-day rescue attempt failed.
Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople desperately trying to help a whale on Popoyo beach in Rivas, Nicaragua in 2014.Greg Wood/AFP/Getty ImagesIn 2005, volunteers helped to rescue around 100 false killer whales beached in Dolphin Bay near Busselton, Australia.VCG via Getty ImagesA humpback whale which had become stranded in Qidong, Jiangsu Province of China, in 2017, eventually returned to the sea with the high tide.