- At least 230 whales were found stranded ashore Tasmania’s West Coast in Australia.
- Half of those are presumed dead. Rescue efforts are underway to help those alive
- Few days ago, 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off southeastern coast.
Australia whales stranded: At least 230 whales were found stranded ashore on Tasmania’s West Coast in Australia on Tuesday, out of which half are presumed dead. Rescue efforts are underway to help those who are still alive. The pod, which is stranded on Ocean Beach, appears to be pilot whales.
The development came just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off the southeastern coast. A team from the Marine Conservation Program was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area, the department said.
A resident told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The whales were visible near the entrance to Macquarie Harbor and described the stranding as a “massive event.” David Midson, general manager of the West Coast Council, urged people to stay clear.
“Whales are a protected species, even once deceased, and it is an offense to interfere with a carcass,” the environment department said. Griffith University marine scientist Olaf Meynecke said it’s unusual for sperm whales to wash ashore. He said that warmer temperatures could also be changing the ocean currents and moving the whale’s traditional food sources.
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 northern coast. The department said it is not unusual for sperm whales to be sighted in Tasmania.
The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers, for reasons that are not entirely understood.
Two years ago, about 470 long-finned pilot whales were found beached on sandbars off Tasmania’s west coast in the largest mass-stranding on record in Australia. After a weeklong effort, 111 of those whales were rescued but the rest died.
(With inputs from AP)