Marine conservation experts were racing to the Australian state of Tasmania on Wednesday to try to rescue a group of about 230 whales stranded off the west coast, with officials fearing half of them had already died.
The animals, which appear to be pilot whales, are stranded on Ocean Beach, Tasmania’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said in a statement.
Marine wildlife experts will assess the scene to plan a response, the statement said.
It appears that about half of the animals are alive, he added.
“[A] response to stranding in this area is complex. If it is determined that there is a need for help from the general public, a request will be made through various avenues,” she added.
The stranding comes just days after more than a dozen male sperm whales died in a mass stranding in Tasmania.
The state was also the scene of the biggest stranding in modern Australian history two years ago, involving around 500 whales. Authorities managed to rescue about 100 of them.
Neighboring New Zealand has the highest rate of dolphin and whale strandings in the world, with hundreds of mammals stranded on its shores each year. But the reason they get stuck on beaches remains a mystery.
Source: CNN Brasil