Last weekend, 55 False killer whales stranded themselves at Kommetjie Beach near Cape Town, South Africa, drawing a crowd of dozens of volunteers to observe and help the animals return to the water.
Despite efforts by locals to return the whales to the water, a decision was made by Mike Meyer of Marine Coastal Management (MCM) to euthanize the animals. The reason given was that the whales which had been returned to the ocean had preceded to re-beach further down the shore and that the MCM did not want the animals "to suffer unnecessarily." Rather than continue efforts to rescue the whales and lead them to open water, the MCM declared the decision to euthanize the whales in order to "put the whales out of their misery."
Forty-four of the 55 beached False killer whales were shot at point blank in range in front of the crowd, which included children. The observers were told to go home.
photos credit Sophia van Coller