32 whales rescued after around 200 dead in mass stranding in Australia

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Rescue teams have managed to save 32 pilot whales following a mass stranding this week in a remote part of Australia that saw the death of around 200 whales.

The stranded pod had been discovered by Tasmanian wildlife officials on Monday – at that time it was thought half the group was still alive.

But as the week progressed and conditions worsened, the number of survivors began to dwindle.

“Of the 35 whales that were left alive this morning, we managed to refloat, rescue and release 32 of these animals and that’s a tremendous result,” Brendon Clark of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service said during the interview. a press conference on Friday morning.

Rangers were forced to euthanize a whale that had washed ashore on Thursday evening and three other whales remained “out of reach due to tidal conditions”, Clark said.

“The priority is always the rescue and release of these remaining animals and any others that are stranded,” he added.

Rescue teams would then move on to disposing of the carcasses at sea.

“We’re going to try to take them as far as we can,” Clark said. Earlier warnings had been issued to swimmers to avoid the area if sharks congregate.

Instances of whale strandings have baffled marine scientists for decades.

It is the second mass stranding to take place in Tasmania this week after more than a dozen sperm whales, mostly young males and thought to be part of the same bachelor group, were found dead on another beach .

The largest stranding was in 2020 when over 450 pilot whales were found.

“The cause of the stranding of the whales is unknown and may not be determined,” the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said Thursday.

Their experts are “currently undertaking post-mortem investigations” into the latest stranding.

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