Tasmania: Hundreds of Pilot Wales Die in Australia’s Biggest Whale Stranding

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Tasmania: Hundreds of Pilot Wales Die in Australia’s Biggest Whale Stranding” – below is their description.

    More pilot whales were found stranded in an area of the Australian coast on Wednesday, raising the total to almost 500 in the largest mass stranding ever recorded in the island state of Tasmania. Authorities have been working to rescue survivors among an estimated 270 whales found on Monday on a beach and two sand bars near the remote west coast town of Strahan. Another 200 stranded whales were spotted from the air on Wednesday less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the south, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Manager Nic Deka said. “From the air, they didn’t look to be in a condition that would warrant rescue, most of them appeared to be dead,” Deka told reporters in Strahan. Further assessment of their condition would be made by boat and crews would be sent if the whales could be saved, he said. “I think it’s really likely that this was part of the one stranding event of a big group, so this would have been one big group offshore,” Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Kris Carlyon said. About 30 whales in the original stranding were moved from the sandbars to open ocean but several got stranded again, Deka said. About a third of the first group had died by Monday evening, and an update on the death toll and condition of survivors was expected later Wednesday. Tasmania is the only part of Australia prone to mass strandings. It is the first involving more than 50 whales in Australia’s southernmost state since 2009. Rescue crews remained optimistic about freeing more whales, Carlyon said.

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