200 cetaceans die stranded on an Australian beach

Inserted22 September 2022, 09:16

Hecatombs200 cetaceans die stranded on an Australian beach

Pilot dolphins died in the same spot as 300 others two years ago. 35 animals are still alive and rescuers are taking care of them.

The bodies of pilot whales cover the beaches of Tasmania.

AFP

About 200 pilot dolphins or pilot whales died after washing up on an exposed, wave-battered beach on Tasmania’s rugged west coast, Australian lifeguards said Thursday.

Only 35 of the roughly 230 cetaceans discovered on the beach the day before were still alive, Brendon Clark, director of operations for the state wildlife service, told reporters.

Aerial footage showed dozens of shiny black mammals stranded on Ocean Beach, along a wide sandy beach in contact with the cold waters of the Southern Ocean. “We still have about 35 animals still alive on the beach and the main objective this morning will be to rescue and free them,” said Clark, who is leading the operation.

“Unfortunately, the death rate from this stranding is high. It is mainly due to the conditions of Ocean Beach, “she said.” The environmental conditions, the undertow on the exposed west coast, Ocean Beach, definitely have an impact on the animals, “she added.

Protected with wet blankets

Locals had covered the cetaceans with blankets and sprinkled them with buckets of water to keep them alive after they were found on the beach.

The cetaceans ran aground near the port of Macquarie, the scene of almost two years ago until the day of another huge stranding, which involved nearly 500 stranded pilot dolphins. More than 300 of them later died, despite the efforts of dozens of volunteers who fought for days in the freezing waters of Tasmania to free the animals.

Mr. Clark said conditions are more difficult this year than two years ago as the animals were in “much more sheltered waters”. Rescuers tragedy the cetaceans to see which ones have the best chance of survival, he said. “Today the focus will be on rescue operations and their release.”

The reasons for these large strandings are not fully known. Researchers have suggested they could be caused by groups of cetaceans drifting away after feeding too close to shore.

(AFP)

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