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World Race to save hundreds of stranded pilot whales as death toll tops 90

14:23  22 september  2020
14:23  22 september  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Marine experts and government officials are racing to save hundreds of pilot whales after a mass stranding in Australia, with dozens He added that it was difficult to make a more specific estimate of deaths , since the whales were spread out across a large area and some locations were inaccessible.

Hundreds of pilot whales are seen stranded on a sand bar near Strahan, Tasmania. Photograph: Getty Images. With about 90 animals already dead This could theoretically free some of the whales , Deka said, but the problem could be that they would not swim out beyond Macquarie Heads and into

Sydney — Rescuers raced to save nearly 200 whales stuck in a remote Australian harbor on Tuesday, hoping to minimize the death toll of a mass stranding which had already killed 90. Officials said at least 25 of the mammals had been freed so far.

a group of people sitting next to a body of water: Whale rescue efforts take place at Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania © AAP Image/The Advocate Pool/Brodie Weeding/REUTERS Whale rescue efforts take place at Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania

A large pod of long-finned pilot whales is currently stuck on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbour, on Tasmania's rugged and sparsely populated west coast, scientists said.

Australia pilot whales: Tasmania officials race to save hundreds of stranded animals

  Australia pilot whales: Tasmania officials race to save hundreds of stranded animals Marine experts and government officials are racing to save hundreds of pilot whales after a mass stranding in Australia, with dozens of the animals already dead. © -/AFP/POOL/AFP via Getty Images A pod of whales stranded on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, on September 21. About 270 pilot whales are stranded in Strahan, a small town in Tasmania, an island state off the southern coast of mainland Australia. They're scattered along two sandbars and the strip of beach, according to the Tasmanian Marine Conservation Program, which is leading the rescue operation.

Hundreds Volunteer to Save Dozens of Beached Whales . The beaching of more than 400 whales is among the worst in New Zealand's history. Volunteers help some of the hundreds of stranded pilot whales still alive, as one lies marked with an “X” to indicate it has died, in Golden Bay at the top of

Volunteers in New Zealand are racing to rescue survivors after more than 400 pilot whales beached themselves. About 300 stranded whales died overnight at Farewell Spit, on the South Island, in one of the worst such cases the country has seen. Hundreds of locals and conservation officers have been

Images from the scene showed a shallow body of water, thick with scores of the large slick-black creatures maneuvering for space, and rescuers wading in as they worked to refloat the whales in deeper passages.

About 60 people — including volunteers and local fish-farm workers — are involved in the rescue attempt.

a small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background: Stranded whales are seen in Macquarie Heads, Tasmania, Australia, September 21, 2020, in a picture obtained from social media. / Credit: RYAN BLOOMFIELD/REUTERS © Provided by CBS News Stranded whales are seen in Macquarie Heads, Tasmania, Australia, September 21, 2020, in a picture obtained from social media. / Credit: RYAN BLOOMFIELD/REUTERS

Government marine biologist Kris Carlyon said "about a third" of the 270 animals were dead by late Monday, and that rescuing survivors would be a challenging task likely to take several days.

But there were hopes Tuesday that efforts were already paying off, with at least 25 rescued and escorted to open ocean by boats, according to the official leading the operation.

Death of 380 cetaceans stuck in a bay in Tasmania, according to an assessment by rescuers

 Death of 380 cetaceans stuck in a bay in Tasmania, according to an assessment by rescuers © Brodie WEEDING Hundreds of cetaceans have died, stranded on a beach in Tasmania, Australia. Photo by Brodie Weeding, of The Advocate, taken on September 22, 2020 at Macquarie Harbor Rescuers on Wednesday announced the deaths of 380 pilot whales stranded in a remote Tasmanian bay, despite intense efforts to try to save them.

Rescuers set free around 25 whales on Tuesday that were marooned on a sandbar off the remote west coast of Tasmania in one of Australia's worst beaching events, and hope to save more in coming days.

Seven of the pilot whales were successfully re-floated and four died. Join the 6pm team as they bring you the latest news from here and overseas Daily at

"We have now freed a small number successfully that appear to have stayed out at sea, and are now scaling up that approach," Parks and Wildlife Service manager Nic Deka said.

Though mass whale strandings occur relatively often in Tasmania, such a large group has not been seen in the area for more than a decade.

a turtle in the water: Dead whale detectives 01:57 © Provided by CBS News Dead whale detectives 01:57

The animals are only accessible by boat, limiting the number of rescuers who can reach them.

They are battling chilly and rainy conditions as well as the harbor's unusual tides, which are dictated by barometric pressure.

"In terms of mass whale strandings in Tasmania, this is up there with the trickiest," Carlyon told reporters in the nearby town of Strahan.

However, Carlyon said many of the partially submerged whales should be able to survive for the several days it would take his team to complete the task, in part due to the inclement weather.

Australia: massacre of "pilot dolphins" stuck in a bay

 Australia: massacre of © Provided by Le Point Rescuers announced on Wednesday the death of at least 380 "pilot dolphins" stuck in a remote bay in Tasmania, an island located south of the Australia , despite intense efforts to try to save them. This heavy toll means that almost all of the enormous 460 cetaceans stranded in this vast west coast bay, wild and sparsely populated, have perished.

Dozens of pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a sandbar on Tasmania's West Coast.

Hundreds of whales stranded on New Zealand beach. Rescuers rush to save animals. About 275 of the pilot whales were already dead when Cheree Morrison and two colleagues When high tide came, volunteers managed to refloat about 50 the surviving whales while the other 80 or 90 remained

"It's pretty ugly for people on the ground but as far as the whales go its ideal — it's keeping them wet, it's keeping them cool," he said.

Carlyon said rescuers would still have to "triage" the whales, prioritizing the healthiest and most accessible.

Most of a 30-strong group of whales on a nearby beach were found dead Monday, though two were saved and released.

a dolphin jumping out of the water: Dead pilot whale calves lie on the beach in Macquarie Heads, Tasmania, Australia, September 22,2020 in a picture obtained from social media. / Credit: Bilal Rashid via REUTERS © Provided by CBS News Dead pilot whale calves lie on the beach in Macquarie Heads, Tasmania, Australia, September 22,2020 in a picture obtained from social media. / Credit: Bilal Rashid via REUTERS

About 60 others on the sandbar are also believed to have since died and Carlyon said it was "inevitable that we've lost more", but a detailed assessment using infrared cameras from the air was planned for Wednesday.

Once the whales are returned to deeper water, Carlyon said, the biggest challenge is herding the social creatures out of the sandbar-riddled harbor — and hoping they don't swim back to the remaining pod.

Scientists said it was unclear what caused the latest stranding, but Carlyon suggested the pod may have gone off track after feeding close to the shoreline or by following one or two whales that strayed.

Cetacean strandings in Tasmania: many previous ones

 Cetacean strandings in Tasmania: many previous ones © - At least 380 cetaceans died in a massive stranding in South Australia At least 380 pilot whales perished after being trapped on sandbanks a Tasmanian bay in southern Australia, authorities said on Wednesday. This is one of the most massive cetacean strandings in Australian history. Elsewhere in the world, there are many precedents.

Rescuers will try to refloat dozens of pilot whales on Saturday after they became stranded on a New Zealand beach for a second time.

Australian officials are racing to save hundreds of stranded pilot whales . About 270 pilot whales are stranded in Strahan, a small town in Tasmania, an island off the southern coast of Australia. He added that it was difficult to make a more specific estimate of deaths , since the whales were spread

Karen Stockin, an expert in marine mammals at New Zealand's Massey University, said Tasmania was a "particular hotspot" for pilot whale strandings in large pods.

"It seems to be a notorious whale trap... you do tend to get these mass stranding events there," she told AFP.

a group of people riding skis on a body of water: Rescue efforts to save whales stranded on a sandbar take place at Macquarie Harbour, near Strahan, Tasmania, Australia, September 22, 2020. / Credit: AAP Image/The Advocate Pool/Brodie Weeding/REUTERS © Provided by CBS News Rescue efforts to save whales stranded on a sandbar take place at Macquarie Harbour, near Strahan, Tasmania, Australia, September 22, 2020. / Credit: AAP Image/The Advocate Pool/Brodie Weeding/REUTERS

Stockin said that while pilot whales were typically more resilient than other whale species, rescuers faced a race against the clock as the mammals can overheat, their muscles deteriorate and their organs become crushed outside their natural environment.

"Time is never your friend," she said. "So without doubt, the more expedited rescue missions are, the more likely there is an increased (chance) of survival."

Mike Double, the head of the Tasmania-based Australian Marine Mammal Centre, said it was "tragic" that such a massive pod had become stranded, but other whales had previously been saved from the same location.

"The state team responsible for responding are extremely experienced and they'll be absolutely working incredibly hard to get the best possible outcome," he said.

Weak Stranded Whales in Australia to Be Euthanized, Hundreds Already Dead .
Nearly 400 beached whales have died on the shores of Tasmania, Australia, since Monday.More than 450 long-finned pilot whales have beached themselves on the shores of Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania—an island state of Australia located to the south of the mainland—since Monday.

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