The state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment reported that the black, glossy creatures had been “stranded near Macquarie Harbour.”
On Wednesday, a group of pilot whales was discovered stranded on the rocky west coast of Tasmania. Australian officials said that 230 whales were stranded, of which only around half looked to be alive. Whatever brought the whales to the beach’s small sand flat remains a mystery.
This news follows the discovery the day before of 14 baby sperm whales washed up on the shores of King Island. Aerial photographs now revealed a heartbreaking scene: thousands of black, glossy creatures littered across a long beach, stranded where the icy southern ocean meets the sand.
As other whales nearby fought in vain to wiggle free and even others lay dead, locals wrapped survivors with blankets and drenched them with buckets of water to keep them alive, as reported by AFP.
“stranded at Macquarie Harbour,” the state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said of the black glossy beasts. “It looks like almost half of the animals are still alive.”
A team of whale rescue specialists and marine conservationists were their route, according to officials.
It is anticipated that the corpses will be towed further out to sea and any survivors will be refloated if possible.
It has been almost exactly two years since the greatest mass stranding in Australian history, involving about 500 pilot whales, occurred in Macquarie Harbour.
Despite the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who struggled for days in Tasmania’s frigid waters to rescue the pilot whales, more than 300 of them died during the stranding.
Mass strandings continue to be a mystery since their cause is unknown. They have been linked by scientists to pods becoming lost after eating too near to land.