10 whales stranded alive on Maui beach, vets assessing them

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say ten small whales are stranded alive on a beach on the Hawaii island of Maui.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Wildlife Management and Conservation Branch Chief Jeffrey Walters said in a statement Thursday that they are believed to be melon-headed whales.

The agency says NOAA veterinarians and University of Hawaii scientists are determining the best type of care for the whales on Sugar Beach in the community of Kihei.

Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner Kealoha Pisciotta says the whales are a manifestation of the sea god Kanaloa.

She and others want to float the whales so they can swim away or die dignified deaths.

She says NOAA officials won’t let them near the whales.

NOAA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on her complaint.

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