SHARK WARNING: Whales mass stranding in SHOCK pictures

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A SHARK warning has been issued for Hamelin Bay in Western Australia after dozens of pilot whale carcasses were washed up ashore.

The biggest mass beaching in WA occurred in 1996 in Dunsborough, when 320 long- finned pilot whales beached themselves.

They were first spotted by a commercial fisherman early in the morning.

A rescue operation to save the whales, some of which are still alive, has been taking place in Hamelin Bay, Australia, for three days already. The authorities say that they will be given palliative care if necessary.

Wildlife authorities took biological samples of the dead whales Friday to more closely examine the nature of their beaching.

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"Rescue operations will be hampered by deteriorating, weather conditions and we need to ensure the safety of everyone involved".

'It is possible the dead and dying animals will act as an attractant, which could lead to sharks coming close into shore along this stretch of coast, ' the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development said.

Parks and Wildlife Service staff are being assisted by vets, Sea Search and Rescue, and more than 100 volunteers.

A sixth whale was freed into shallow waters on Friday but it beached again and had to be euthanized.

One woman told the Daily Mail Australia when they initially got to the beach, they assumed all the animals were dead before noticing some were still desperately trying to get back into the water.

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The tendency of mass stranding in pilot whales is common phenomena in Hamelin Bay.

"I think initially it was confronting for most people because so numerous whales had already died but everyone went into hands on mode and tried to help the ones that could be rescued".

Environmental groups have also argued that sonar - used to map the ocean floor or for military purposes - can trigger mass strandings in dolphins and whales, who can be sensitive to underwater noises.

Nearly all of the mammals - short-finned pilot whales weighing between 1-4 tonnes - have now died, with six survivors helped back out to sea late in the afternoon.

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