Five pilot whales have been found stranded on the shore of a Scottish island.
The giant mammals – from a 19-strong pod – were spotted off the coast of Lochboisdale in South Uist, Outer Hebrides on Thursday night.
However on Friday, five were found stranded and in distress on the shoreline – with the other pilot whales in deeper water nearby.
Locals raised the alarm and rescue charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) called for boats in the area to steer clear of the rest of the creatures off the coast.
Dan Jarvis, welfare development and field support officer at BDMLR, said: “Yesterday we first heard reports.
“It was a little later in the evening that they were identified as pilot whales.
“We think there’s 19 and at least five have been stranded.
“Some of them have got back into the water thanks to local people as the tide came back in but we think there’s two still stranded.
“We’ve had strandings of pilot whales before – nearly all of them have been around Scotland.
“It’s a bit more well known for pilot whales to strand like this.
“They’re very social animals so tend to be in quite large groups, sometimes over 100.
“They’ll be quite stressed and they can get quite confused and disorientated.
“It can take them quite a while to recover from that so we urge people not to approach them in case they panic and go towards the nearest beach.”
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