Shark warning issued as stranded whales die on Australia beach

A rescue operation has begun to rescue 15 survivors after more than 150 whales became stranded in western Australia.

150 short-finned pilot whales who became beached at Hamelin Bay, in Western Australia. (WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Parks and Wildlife Service/AAP via AP)

They are believed to be short-finned pilot whales, and a shark warning has been issued at Hamelin Bay.

The stranded animals were first spotted by a fisherman early on Friday morning.

As of Friday afternoon, only 15 whales were alive, and a rescue operation was under way to try to herd them back to sea.

The authorities say palliative care will be administered where necessary.

Rescue team leader Jeremy Chick said the surviving whales are in shallow water.

The biggest mass stranding of whales in Western Australia happened in 1996, when 320 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves.

- PA

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