More Than 200 Pilot Whales Died Due To A Mass Stranding On Tasmania’s Coast; Thankfully, 32 Whales Were Rescued & Released

Photo by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania

An estimated 200 pilot whales died this week after the pod became stranded on the western shore of Tasmania, an island state of Australia. The stranding comes just days after 14 sperm whales were found dead on another Tasmanian beach.

Thankfully, after working tirelessly, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) staff, volunteers, and local aquaculture company personnel were able to rescue and release 32 of the stranded pilot whales into deeper water outside Macquarie Harbor.

There are still three remaining whales alive on the beach. While the rescue crew has been unable to access them yet due to the challenging location and tidal conditions, the efforts to save these whales continues.

“The experienced trained staff and volunteers were able to achieve this in the challenging west coast conditions. This included soft sand on Ocean Beach, which made accessing some areas and maneuvering vehicles and equipment difficult,” Incident Controller Brendon Clark said in a statement, acknowledging that this was a massive effort by all involved.

“Assistance from local aquaculture companies with vessels and a telehandler to help lift whales has been invaluable in today’s success and we thank everyone for their efforts,” continued Clark.

What caused the whale stranding is unknown and may not be able to be determined. NRE Tas is undertaking post-mortem investigations with assistance from a pathologist from the department’s Animal Health Laboratories.

This week’s tragic incident occurred at the same remote location where Australia’s worst stranding occurred just two years ago.

Whales are a protected species. Even once deceased, it is an offense to interfere with a whale’s carcass.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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