About 200 whales die on Australian beach where hundreds more died exactly 2 years ago

0
1

HOBART, Australia (TBEN) – A day after 230 whales were stranded on the wild and remote western coast of the Australian island nation of Tasmania, only 35 were alive despite rescue efforts set to continue Thursday.

The Tasmania Department of Natural Resources and Environment said on Wednesday that half of the group of pilot whales stranded in Macquarie Harbor were still alive.

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

“We vibrated the animals yesterday as part of the preliminary assessment and we identified the animals that had the best chance of survival of the approximately 230 that were stranded. Today’s focus will be on rescue and release operations,” Clark told reporters in nearby Strahan.

Only 35 of the whales were still alive, despite rescue efforts set to continue Thursday.

“We have about 35 surviving animals on the beach … and this morning the primary focus will be on rescuing and releasing those animals,” Clark added.

ALSO READ  IND vs AUS 2nd T20I live streaming: When and where to watch India vs Australia match in India

The whales stranded in the same harbor two years after the discovery of the largest mass stranding in Australia’s history.

About 470 long-finned pilot whales were found on September 21, 2020, stuck on sandbanks. After a week’s effort, 111 of those whales were rescued, but the rest died.

The entrance to the harbor is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate.

Local salmon farmer Linton Kringle helped with the rescue in 2020 and said the latest challenge would be more difficult.

A photo taken on September 21, 2020 shows a group of whales stranded on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbor on Tasmania's rugged west coast.  A marine physicist suggested the repeated stranding could be due to: "something ecological."
A photo taken on September 21, 2020 shows a group of whales stranded on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbor on Tasmania’s rugged west coast. A marine physicist suggested the repeated stranding could be due to “something environmentally friendly.”

‘But only on the beach you just can’t get a boat there – it’s too shallow, way too rough. My thoughts would be to get them on a vehicle if we can’t swim them out,” Kringle added.

Vanessa Pirotta, a naturalist who specializes in marine mammals, said it was too early to explain why the stranding had occurred.

West Coast Council council director David Midson urged people to stay away.

“The fact that we’ve seen similar species, at the same time, in the same location and recurring in terms of strandings in the same spot, could be an indication that there may be something around here.”

Whales are a protected species, even once they have died, and it is an offense to interfere with a carcass.

Fourteen sperm whales were discovered Monday afternoon on King Island, part of the state of Tasmania in the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Tasmania’s north coast.

Marine scientist Olaf Meynecke of Griffith University said it is unusual for sperm whales to wash up on shore. He said warmer temperatures could also alter ocean currents and displace the whales’ traditional food.

“They go to different areas and look for different food sources,” Meynecke said. “If they do this they aren’t in the best physical shape because they might be starving, so it might lead them to take more risks and maybe move closer to shore.”

The pilot whale is notorious for beaching en masse, for reasons that are not fully understood.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here