Chennai, Jan 12: It was a whale of a problem on Tuesday for officials to save 81 short finned whales that beached near a village in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district but only managed to help less than half survive.
"Eighty one whales were beached. We tried to take all of them back into the sea with the use of boats. While 36 whales swam away, 45 died," a fisheries department official told IANS.
The whales got beached off last night of Manadu village in Tuticorin, around 600 km from here.
The district administration led by Collector M.Ravikumar mounted the massive rescue effort.
The whales were gently tied to boats of local fishermen and released mid sea but some returned towards the beach.
Around ten boats made the sorties with one whale each trip.
However officials were not able tell the probable reasons for the whales beaching in large numbers.