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The operation on Tuesday morning had rescuers trying to resuscitate the whales, each of which weighs about a ton, with at least 36 of the animals being taken back one by one to the sea, the Hindustan Times reports. The total number animals washed ashore was put at 120. Rescue efforts are ongoing at this time.
Despite the rescue effort, at least 45 of the beached whales have been reported dead.
The whales began washing up on Monday night, according to the Tamil Nadu department of fisheries, forest and civil administration, which is now working with the police on the matter, the Hindustan Times was told by an official. They came ashore during low tide and could not return back to sea.