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  1. ITV Report

More than a hundred stranded whales perish on Western Australia beach

More than 100 whales have perished on a beach in Western Australia after becoming stranded in the early hours of Friday morning.

The short-finned pilot whales were spotted washed up on Hamelin Bay, south of Perth, by a commercial fisherman.

A rescue operation attempted to herd the 150 mammals back to sea but many returned to the shore.

Tourist, Barrie Brickle said: "The ones I've seen go back in the water, they actually come back around and beach themselves again.

"I watched one of them and it happened three times. And still he wouldn't go out to sea."

Rescuers tried to herd the mammals back to sea but many returned to the shore Credit: AP

By Friday afternoon, only 15 whales were still alive and rescuers were administering palliative care.

"Unfortunately, most of the whales beached themselves on dry land overnight and have not survived," rescue team leader Jeremy Chick said.

"Rescue operations will be hampered by deteriorating weather conditions and we need to ensure the safety of everyone involved before we move the whales."

A shark alert was also issued by the Fisheries Department as the stranded whales could attract the ocean predators.

In 2009, more than 80 whales and dolphins died on a beach in the same bay.

The biggest mass stranding of whales in Western Australia happened in 1996 in Dunsborough when 320 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves.