Rescue teams managed to save 32 pilot whales after around 200 died in a mass stranding this week in a remote part of Australia.
The stranded animals were discovered by Tasmanian wildlife officials on Monday – a time when half the group were still alive. But as the week wore on and conditions worsened, the number of survivors began to dwindle.
“Of the 35 whales that remained alive this morning, we were able to rescue and release 32 of these animals and this is a fantastic result,” Brendon Clark of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service told a news conference on Friday.
Rangers were forced to euthanize a whale that had run aground again on Thursday night and three more whales remained “out of reach due to tidal conditions,” Clark said. “The priority is still the rescue and release of the remaining animals and any others that could run aground again,” he added.
Rescue teams would then proceed to dispose of the carcasses at sea.
“We’re going to try to get them as far as we can,” Clark said. Previous warnings were issued to swimmers to avoid the area in the event of a shark meeting.
Cases of whale strandings have baffled marine scientists for decades.
Causes still unknown
This is the second mass stranding in Tasmania this week, after more than a dozen whales, mostly young males and believed to be part of the same group, were found dead on another beach.
The biggest stranding took place in 2020, when more than 450 pilot whales were found. “What caused the whale to stranded is unknown and may not be determined,” the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said on Thursday. Its experts are currently “carrying out post-mortem investigations” into the latest stranding.
Source: CNN Brasil