15 Whales Beached in Baja Rescued in 36-Hour Operation
LA PAZ, Mexico (AP) _ Fifteen of 17 gray whales that beached near the tip of Baja California have been rescued and returned to deep waters. The other whales died, a news report said Wednesday.
The whales were apparently searching for squid in shallow waters when violent waves washed them ashore Sunday, Dr. Luis Fleischer, president of the International Whaling Commission, told the Mexican news agency Excelsior.
Fleischer led the 36-hour operation that rescued eight of the whales on Sunday and seven Monday.
They were beached near La Paz, on the eastern side of the peninsula.
It was the second largest beaching of whales in the area in 40 years, Fleischer said. In 1954, 22 gray whales beached in La Paz and died because authorities didn’t have the personnel and equipment to rescue them.
Gray whales can run up to 60 feet long and weigh 33 tons.