Why did whales beach themselves in Georgia? No answers yet

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Georgia wildlife officials say examinations of the carcasses of three pilot whales yielded no immediate answers to why they swam ashore and died on a popular beach last week.

The three whales are the only ones found dead after dozens of the large marine mammals swam perilously close to the shore of St. Simons Island on July 16. Vacationers joined lifeguards and state wildlife crews in the water to keep most of the whales off the beach.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said in a statement Thursday that necropsies performed on the three dead whales found no wounds from boat collisions, ingested plastic or other obvious clues as to why they beached themselves.

The agency says follow-up tests will include microscopic examination of tissue samples. Results could take months.

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