In this photo provided by Huon Aquaculture, whales are seen beached on September 21, 2022 in Strahan, Australia. Hundreds of pilot whales are stranded in Macquarie Harbor on Tasmania’s west coast after an extreme event. (Photo by Huon Aquaculture via Getty Images)
(Photo by Huon Aquaculture via Getty Images)
HOBART, Australia (AP) — Wildlife experts on Thursday rescued 32 of the 230 whales found the day before on wild and remote beaches on the west coast of the Australian island of Tasmania.
Half of the baleen whales found stranded in Macquarie Harbor are believed to be alive on Wednesday, Tasmania’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said.
But only 35 survived the overnight flooding, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manager Brendon Clark said.
“Of the 35 that were alive this morning, we were able to refloat, rescue and release … 32 of those animals, and that’s a terrible result,” Clark told reporters late Thursday. near Strahan.
“We still have three alive at the far north end of the Ocean Coast, but because of the restrictions on access, most of the impact, we will not be able to safely find those three animals today. But they will be our priority in the morning,” Clark added.
The whales have been washed ashore two years to the day after the largest whale stranding in Australian history was found in the same port.
About 470 fin whales were found on September 21, 2020, stuck on sandbars. After a week-long effort, 111 of the whales were rescued but the rest died.
The entrance to the harbor is a narrow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate.
Marine conservation program specialist Kris Carlyon said the dead whales would be tested for toxins in their systems that could explain the tragedy.
“These series of events are usually the result of an accidental type of beach, and that’s for a number of reasons,” Carlyon said.
Local salmon farmer Linton Kringle helped with the 2020 rescue effort and said Thursday’s challenge was more difficult because the whales were in shallow water and more open water.
Fourteen sperm whales were found Monday afternoon off the coast of King Island in the Bass Strait between the Australian and Tasmanian oceans.
Griffith University marine scientist Olaf Meynecke said it was unusual for sperm whales to wash ashore. He said the heat could also be a change in ocean currents and movement of the whales’ traditional diet.
Source : ksltv.com