More than 40 whales have been found dead along the shore of the eastern end of Anegada.
The species of those animals are said to be pilot whales which, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, are characterised by a round bulging forehead, a short beaklike snout, and slender pointed flippers.
The circumstances of their death are not yet clear to BVI News but Representative of the Ninth District where Anegada is located, Vincent Wheatley, said marine experts based overseas have been deployed to the BVI for a site visit.
“Some are here already and some are flying in from Puerto Rico, I think on Monday, to do an autopsy on the whales to determine the cause of death. We don’t really know what has caused it whether it’s sickness or disorientation. But once we get a better understanding and we take the advice from the experts on whether to bury them on land or take them back to sea; what the experts advise is what I’m prepared to follow,” Wheatley told BVI News Saturday afternoon.
He further told or news centre the whales were found beached on the island on Friday, July 1 but he suspects they were there days before they were actually discovered.
Caution: watch out for sharks!
The Ninth District Representative, who previously served as Minister of Natural Resources, also told BVI News there are “a significant number of other whales out beyond the reef”.
“From what I heard, the full party is about 150 of them but so far only 46 actually beached and died,” said Wheatley who warned persons to be careful visiting the area.
“I caution persons particularly divers to be very careful diving in those areas because the bodies will attract sharks,” he said while noting that sharks have already been spotted in the area and might remain there for weeks to come.
Whale beaching seen on Anegada before
Whale beaching is not a new phenomenon and Anegada fisherman, Rondel Smith, Snr told BVI News he has personally witnessed it before.
In fact, he said he’s seen dead beached whales “right around the same area” in the past.
“This would be the second time I have seen it. That was close to 20 years ago, maybe more,” said Smith, who noted that some of the whales were still alive when he visited the area this morning, July 2.
BVI News will provide more on this developing story as the information becomes available.
Copyright 2023 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.