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Alarm as 70-strong pod of whales stranded on remote WA beach

A pod of whales swimming off the Western Australian coast have stranded themselves on a remote beach.

About 70 long-finned pilot whales were spotted perilously close to the shore of Cheynes Beach, 60 kilometres east of Albany, on Tuesday morning.

Officers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions held concerns for the pod’s welfare as they encroached closer to the shore throughout the day.

Footage shared by the Cheynes Beach Caravan Park showed a large stretch of the shoreline covered with the whales shortly before 4pm.

Park owner Allan Marsh suggested killer whales in the area may have caused the social animals to cluster closer to shore in defensive mode.

Wife Joanne said she had never seen anything like it in the 23 years they had lived nearby.

Other wildlife experts speculated the unusual behaviour could be an indicator of stress.

Residents have gathered on the beach to try to assist the whales.

WA Parks and Wildlife Service has asked the public not to approach the beach or the pod as wildlife officers manage the incident.

“We ask the public to keep their distance and refrain from approaching the pod,” it said.

-AAP

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