Authorities have found 50 to 70 pilot whales rescued from Australia’s worst mass massacre as they focus on removing 380 bodies.
The number of rescuers was estimated at 50 last night, but after discussions with rescuers, 20 more were released, said Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Manager Nick Deca.
It is likely to save another 20 whales. Wildlife biologist Chris Carlion said the animals were being considered for euthanasia.
470 whales were found on Monday and yesterday on the beach and in sand bars. Near the town of Strahan on the far west coast of the island state.
“It simply came to our notice then. We still have live animals capable of rescue, ”Deka said. “But at the same time, we are beginning preliminary efforts to remove the corpses.”
He said it was desirable to dump the waste at sea, but he was seeking expert advice.
Carlion said some of the first whales rescued on Tuesday were back at shore, but those who returned to sea yesterday have not returned. The rescued whales mark the return.
“70 animals were relocated and released, and we are sure most of the animals survived,” he said. “Once they get into the deep water, they are very difficult to keep.”
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Why the whales ran away is a mystery. Theories have it that the pod followed the sick whales or made a navigation error.
Tasmania is the only part of Australia that has the potential for large-scale stranding, although they do occasionally occur in the mainland.
The largest stranding in Australia was 320 pilot whales in 1996 near the western Australian city of Dunsborough.
In 1935, Tasmania’s largest stranding was 294 whales off the northwest coast.