Update: The DBCA reported at 4.45pm that the pod began to strand on the beach via a Facebook update:
Further to this evolving incident, the pod of approximately 60-70 long-finned pilot whales have begun to strand on Cheynes Beach.
DBCA are leading a response and managing the incident.
We understand the public’s concern at this time and appreciate the offers of support from volunteers.
However, the safety of the public and the whales are our main priority, so we ask that members of the public do not approach the beach.
Somewhat concerning footage emerged earlier today of a large pod of Pilot Whales huddled together off Cheynes Beach near Albany, captured by Cheynes Beach Caravan Park owner Allan Marsh.
Marsh filmed the group as they continued gathering together only about 100 metres offshore, with his wife Joanne first noticing it late on Monday night.
“At around dusk I saw it in the bay and knew it was whales but I didn’t realise from where I was standing what they were,” she told The Albany Advertiser.
“This morning my husband saw it when he taking out daughter to the bus and then put the drone up to discover what they were.”
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) were swiftly alerted, who have been monitoring the whale pod during the day.
“We ask the public to keep their distance and refrain from approaching the pod via drones or vessels,” said a statement from DBCA via Facebook.
The cause for the huddling is not yet known, with some members of the public expressing fears of a mass beaching, while others are suggesting there may be killer whales in the area, and it is a defensive formation.
More to come.
Image Credit: Allan Marsh / Cheynes Beach Caravan Park via Facebook.