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Several whales die after beaching on St. Catherines Island

Several pilot whales died after a mass beaching on St. Catherines Island.
Several pilot whales died after a mass beaching on St. Catherines Island.(GA DNR)
Updated: Sep. 26, 2019 at 7:19 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Several agencies responded to a mass whale stranding off the Georgia coast on Wednesday.

The Department of Natural Resources says about 26 short-finned pilot whales stranded on or near St. Catherines Island, leaving 15 dead.

According to DNR, staff on the privately-owned island in Liberty County found about a dozen of the whales in the morning. Five were alive.

Using tarps, tow ropes and vehicles, they carefully returned four to the water. The fifth died before it could be moved.

Later in the day, five whales were found stranded in the marsh. Small groups were also seen swimming in a tidal creek and in Sapelo Sound.

No whales were spotted Thursday during helicopter and boat checks.

Necropsies, or animal autopsies, are being done to search for possible clues as to why the mammals stranded themselves.

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