After 230 whales were found washed up on Tasmania’s west coast early Wednesday, only 35 remained alive after waves took a toll on the animals, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
The latest: Rescue efforts were continuing in the island state, located off the Australian mainland’s southwest coast, on Thursday afternoon local time.
- The primary focus was on the rescue and release of the 35 surviving animals, the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service told AP.
The big picture: The whales were found at Ocean Beach in Macquarie Harbour, which has a dangerous entrance known as Hell’s Gate.
- This is the second mass whale stranding in two days, after 14 dead sperm whales were found beached earlier this week, per AP.
What they’re saying: “Marine conservation experts from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment are responding,” the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service said when the whales were first found.
Flashback: Tasmania’s largest mass whale stranding took place exactly two years ago, when about 470 long-finned pilot whales were stranded on sandbars in a harbor. About 111 whales were rescued, but the remaining died.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that most of the stranded whales died and with more details on rescue efforts.