Wednesday, September 21, 2022

About 230 whales stranded off Tasmania coast, half feared dead


 1. About 230 whales have been stranded on Tasmania's west coast, just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off the southeastern coast.

The pod, which is stranded on Ocean Beach, appear to be pilot whales and at least half are presumed to still be alive, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday.

A team from the Marine Conservation Program was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area, the department said.
2. The animals, which appeared to be pilot whales, were stranded on Ocean Beach, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said in a statement. A team of marine wildlife experts will assess the scene and situation to plan an appropriate response, the department said.

Separately, at least 14 sperm whale carcasses were found along a beach of southeastern Australia’s King Island, local authorities announced on Tuesday. According to a spokesperson for Australia's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the whale carcasses were all young males and already dead when they were first reported on Monday. Experts have been dispatched to the island to investigate the stranding.

Authorities are currently looking into how to remove the bodies but they may be left to decompose naturally since the surrounding rocky environment may hamper access of vehicles to tow the carcasses away, local media reported.

Similar whale strandings have been reported along the shores of King Island in the past, although the exact reason behind the stranding remains unknown, local media said.

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