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Around 200 stranded whales die in Australia amid pounding surf

HOBART, Australia Each day after 230 whales were found stranded on the wild and remote west coast of Australias island state of Tasmania, only 35 were still alive despite rescue efforts which were to keep Thursday.

Half the pod of pilot whales stranded in Macquarie Harbour were presumed to be alive on Wednesday, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said.

But pounding surf took a toll overnight, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manager Brendon Clark said.

Weve triaged the animals yesterday within the preliminary assessment and weve identified those animals that had best potential for survival of the approximately 230 that stranded. Todays focus will undoubtedly be on rescue and release operations, Clark told reporters at nearby Strahan.

Weve got approximately 35 surviving animals from the beach … and the principal focus today will undoubtedly be on the rescue and release of these animals, Clark added.

The whales beached 2 yrs to your day following the largest mass-stranding in Australias history was discovered in exactly the same harbor.

About 470 long-finned pilot whales were entirely on Sept. 21, 2020, stuck on sandbars. Following a weeklong effort, 111 of these whales were rescued however the rest died.

The entrance to the harbor is really a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel referred to as Hells Gate.

Local salmon farmer Linton Kringle helped in the 2020 rescue effort and said the most recent challenge will be more challenging.

Last time these were actually in the harbor and its own quite calm and we’re able to sort of cope with them within and we’re able to obtain the boats around them, Kringle said.

But just on the beach, you merely cant get yourself a boat within its too shallow, much too rough. My thoughts will be try to have them onto a car if we cant swim them out, Kringle added.

Vanessa Pirotta, a wildlife scientist focusing on marine mammals, said it had been too early to describe why the stranding had occurred.

The truth that weve seen similar species, once, in exactly the same location, reoccurring with regards to stranding at that same spot may provide some form of indication that there could be something environmental here, Pirotta said.

David Midson, general manager of the West Coast Council municipality, urged visitors to stay clear.

Whales certainly are a protected species, even once deceased, in fact it is an offense to hinder a carcass, the surroundings department said.

Fourteen sperm whales were discovered Monday afternoon on King Island, section of the state of Tasmania in the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Tasmanias northern coast.

Griffith University marine scientist Olaf Meynecke said its unusual for sperm whales to clean ashore. He said that warmer temperatures may be changing the ocean currents and moving the whales traditional food.

They’ll be likely to different areas and looking for different food sources, Meynecke said. If they do that they’re not in the very best physical condition since they may be starving, which means this may lead them to take more risks and perhaps go nearer to shore.

The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers, for reasons that aren’t entirely understood.

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