The last of a pod of bottlenose whales that washed up on a beach in Ireland has died overnight.
Seven whales washed ashore on Rossnowlagh beach in Donegal on Wednesday, resulting in six of them dying from the stranding.
A spokeswoman for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirmed to Yahoo News UK on Thursday that the seventh whale had also died in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The local county council set up barriers on Wednesday after a small group of people turned up to take selfies with the dying mammals, in what is Ireland’s largest mass stranding of bottlenose whales.
However, the IWDG stressed that it was only a small number of people who were taking selfies, with the vast majority of interested locals respecting the tragedy.
IWDG CEO Simon Berrow said on Wednesday that little is known about the whales, who are prone to mass stranding.
Speaking in a video about the tragedy, Berrow said the animals could not be euthanised because of their size.
He added: “You just have to let nature take its course, provide first aid on the beach, make sure they’re not stressed by people who are too close or yapping dogs.”
Berrow said that attempting to refloat the mammals was also not an option.
He explained: “To be honest, there’s very little you can do about it. They probably weigh three or four tonnes the adult males, so they’re not really good candidates for refloating.
"And even if we could, is it the right thing to do? These are deep diving species that live in 2,000 metres of water.
"Are they going to be back in that habitat? No, they're going to be in a shallow water in Donegal Bay.”
A spokeswoman for the IWDG told Yahoo News UK that a possible reason for the whales washing up ashore could be a result of noise from seismic activity.
An operation to remove the whales from the beach was due to take place on Thursday.