More than 140 dolphins stranded on Japan beach north of Tokyo - video

Three of the dolphins have been successfully transported into deeper water

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The Independent Online

A pod of over 140 dolphins have stranded themselves on a beach in Japan leading to desperate rescue efforts to save the animals.

Japanese coastguards, police and volunteers were working around the clock on Friday as they attempted to save the melon-headed whales scattered across a six-mile stretch of the beach in Hokota, a coastal town north-east of Tokyo.

Despite volunteer’s efforts to keep the animals hydrated by pouring sea water over them and covering them with wet towels, a number of the animals are already reported dead.

Footage from the beach showed a number of the dolphins suffering from deep cuts and gashes as many continued to struggle outside of the water. Attempts were made to transport some of the dolphins back into the water and local media reported that three had been were in good health after being moved to deeper water.

Other attempts to carry the marine mammals back into the sea were unsuccessful, with many of the dolphins being pushed back onto the beach by the tide soon after their release.

469132286.jpgMelon-head whales, which are part of the dolphin family, are said to usually live in deep sea off the coast of Japan and there has yet to be an explanation for why such a large number of melon-heads found themselves stranded.

The latest mass stranding is said to be the biggest in Japan for 15 years.