Rescue teams have managed to save 32 pilot whales after they ran aground this week in a remote Australian location that killed around 200 whales.
Tasmanian wildlife officials discovered the damaged pod on Monday; at the time, half the group was believed to still be alive.
But as the weeks went by, and the conditions worsened, the number of survivors began to dwindle.
“Of the 35 whales that were still alive this morning, we managed to refloat, rescue and release 32 of those animals which is a fantastic result,” Brendon Clark of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service told a news conference. Friday morning
Rangers were forced to euthanize one whale that beached again Thursday night and three other whales were “unreachable due to tidal conditions,” Clark said.
“The priority is to rescue and release those animals that still remain and any that breed again,” he added.
Then the rescue teams would move on to throw the bodies into the sea.
“We’re going to try to get as much out to sea as we can,” Clark said. Earlier warnings were given to swimmers to avoid the area in case of shark gathering.
Cases of whaling have puzzled marine scientists for decades.
This is the second mass beaching in Tasmania this week, after more than a dozen sperm whales, mostly young males, were found dead on another beach.
The largest stranding occurred in 2020, when more than 450 pilot whales were found.
“What caused the beaching of the whale is unknown and may not be able to be determined,” the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said Thursday.
Their experts are currently “conducting post-mortem investigations” into the final drift.