HomeScienceWildlifeAustralian wildlife team rescues 32 beached pilot whales after nearly 200 die...

Australian wildlife team rescues 32 beached pilot whales after nearly 200 die in mass stranding

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Australian wildlife experts rescued 32 of the 230 pilot whales stranded on the coast of Tasmania the day before during a mysterious mass beaching.

The group of whales was stranded at Ocean Beach in Macquarie Harbor on Wednesday, with at least half of the whales believed to be alive at the time, the Tasmania Department of Natural Resources and Environment had said.

On Thursday morning, marine rescue teams found that only 35 of the whales survived the night, said Brendon Clark, manager of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.

“Of the 35 that were still alive this morning, we managed to float, rescue and release 32 of those animals, so that’s a great result,” Clark told reporters in nearby Strahan late Thursday. .

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“We have three more alive at the far north of Ocean Beach, but due to access restrictions, mainly tidal influences, we have not been able to safely access those three animals today. But they will be our priority in the morning,” Clark added. up.

Rescuers are trying to bring a beached whale to open waters at Macquarie Harbor on Australia’s west coast of Tasmania on Thursday.
(Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania via AP)

The mass stranding comes exactly two years to the day after about 470 longfins pilot whale were found stuck on sandbanks in the same harbor, which has a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate. After a week’s effort, 111 of those whales were rescued, but the rest died.

Whales stranded on Ocean Beach near Macquarie Harbor on Australia's west coast of Tasmania on Thursday.

Whales stranded on Ocean Beach near Macquarie Harbor on Australia’s west coast of Tasmania on Thursday.
(Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania via AP)

It also comes two days after the carcasses of 14 young male sperm whales were found on King Island, part of the state of Tasmania in the Bass Strait between Melbourne and North coast of Tasmania.

A group of about 230 whales stranded on Wednesday in Macquarie Harbor in Strahan, Tasmania, Australia.

A group of about 230 whales stranded on Wednesday in Macquarie Harbor in Strahan, Tasmania, Australia.
(Andrew Breen/Huon Aquaculture via AP)

Marine Animals Experts have said it is too early to say why the stranding occurred.

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“These mass strandings are usually the result of accidentally coming to shore, for a variety of reasons,” said Marine Conservation Program biologist Kris Carlyon.

It was unclear why the group of pilot whales stranded en masse.

It was unclear why the group of pilot whales stranded en masse.
(Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania via AP)

Carlyon said the dead whales would be tested to see if there were any toxins in their systems that could explain the tragedy.

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The pilot whale often travels in groups and is known for stranding en masse, for reasons as yet unclear, according to the NOAA Fisheries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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