Sydney, Australia, Sep 21 (EFE).- Some 230 whales have stranded near Macquarie Harbour in the west of the Australian island state of Tasmania, of which half are believed to have died, the country’s authorities said Wednesday.
“Marine conservation experts are heading to Tasmania’s West Coast, where a pod of approximately 230 whales has stranded near Macquarie Harbour,” the Tasmanian Department of Natural Resources and Environment said in a statement.
A team from the Marine Conservation Program is traveling to the area, where they will collaborate with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service staff and the Tasmanian police to rescue the whales stranded on Ocean Beach, it added.
Photographs provided by the department show the animals – believed to be pilot whales – trapped on the surface of the beach.
In a statement sent to EFE, the department said that the response to strandings in this area tended to be complex given the beach’s remote location.
The mass stranding occurs exactly two years after some 470 pilot whales stranded at the same location. Only 100 out of them could be rescued and returned to the sea.
On Tuesday, 14 sperm whales died after stranding on a beach on King Island in the north of Tasmania.
Whales and other marine mammals are often found stranded on the coasts of southern Australia and neighboring New Zealand.
Experts have not been able to definitively clarify the reasons why whales beach, although they usually attribute this to diseases, navigation errors, sudden changes in tides, predators or extreme weather conditions. EFE