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Dramatic scenes unfolded in the coastal town of Dunsborough in Australia when 160 whales beached.

Wildlife officials had to act quickly and pull in all their resources to return the stranded animals to sea. Luckily, the operation ended in some success when more than 100 pilot whales were returned to sea.

Ian Wiese, Chair of Geographe Marine Research group formed part of the team that orchestrated the rescue operation.

“It was an overwhelming sight,” said Wiese.

“You can see how closely packed (together) the whales were. I’ve managed (whale strandings) before but nothing ever of this size,

According to the Parks and Wildlife Service Western Australia, at least 28 whales died.

CNN reports that whale pods can beach themselves again even after being saved. As a result, spotter planes in the area are continuing to watch and see if the released animals will return to shore.

“So far, they have remained off the beach.”

“The final results were good news, as often with these events, it is only possible to save a few.”

Image credit: NPR

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