Entire pod of 89 pilot whales dies on Scottish beach in freak mass stranding

More than 80 pilot whales have died after mysteriously becoming stranded on a beach in Scotland. The mass stranding of the entire pod is thought to be the biggest the country has seen in nearly 30 years.

Locals reported the stranding to rescuers around 10:45 a.m. local time (5:45 a.m. ET) on Thursday (July 11), according to a statement from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR). The scene unfolded on a beach on Sanday, in the northern Scottish archipelago of Orkney. The stranded animals were long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), which are actually large dolphins named after their unusually long pectoral fins.

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