Of the at least 470 stranded whales that stranded off the coast of the Australian state of Tasmania in recent days, 380 have died. The Tasmanian authorities report this on Wednesday ABC News.
White shark is at risk
On Monday, more than 270 whales washed up on sandbars and beaches off Tasmania’s west coast. Another 200 whales were added on Wednesday, when the first group was mapped from the air. The two groups stranded a few kilometers from each other.
At least fifty stranded whales from the first group have been successfully dragged back to the deep sea by rescue workers. Authorities are still working on an operation to save dozens of other animals.
However, the size of the whales makes this difficult. The whales are also known to gather around injured or troubled peers.
On Tuesday, the more than 60 rescue workers had managed to get 25 whales back into the deep water, but two of them immediately swam back to the beached group.
These may be pilot whales, a relatively small whale that can reach 7 meters in length and weigh 3,000 kilos. Biologists predict that the recovery of the carcasses could be another difficult operation.
The most obvious option would be to let nature do its job and leave the dead whales in the water. However, this can attract white sharks, which can pose a risk to people in the area.
Never before in history have so many whales stranded off Tasmania’s west coast. The Guardian reports that it may even be the largest group ever worldwide.