Nearly 200 whales stranded on Australian island
Around 200 whales and several dolphins stranded themselves on a beach in Australia‘s southern island state of Tasmania Sunday night, The Mercury reported on Monday.
As many as 150 local residents wet down the suffering marine mammals on Naracoopa Beach while government staff prepared for the high-tide rescue.
Despite their efforts about 140 pilot whales dehydrated and died.
John Nievaart, who has spent the morning on the beach with the mammals, told the newspaper: “It is pretty darn sad, you can hear them crying.
“There are as many volunteers as whales down here. We are keeping them wet and have got them covered with anything we could get our hands on, bedspreads, blankets and towels.
“Some students from Clarendon College in Victoria managed to get a baby whale back in the water but it came back to the pod twice.
“It was heartbreaking to watch.”
Chris Arthur from Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service said rescuers had found 54 whales and seven dolphins still alive when they arrived this morning.
Opinions differ on why strandings happen, although scientists at the University of Tasmania have linked a peak in a wind pattern cycle, which brings prey, with the frequency of stranding.
Exploration for oil and gas is also being blamed by some experts for disturbing the mammals.