Australia: 90 Stranded Whales Die, 180 Stuck

Australia: 90 Stranded Whales Die, 180 Stuck

Up to 90 stranded whales died in southern Australia while another 180 are stuck, an Agence France Presse report stated.

Government marine biologist Kris Carlyon said "about a third" of the 270 animals were dead by late Monday, and that rescuing survivors would be a "challenging" task likely to take several days.

Though mass whale strandings occur relatively often in Tasmania, such a large group has not been seen in the area for more than a decade.

About 60 people — including volunteers and local fish farm workers — are involved in the rescue attempt. The animals are only accessible by boat, limiting the number of rescuers who can reach them.

Scientists said two large pods of long-finned pilot whales became stuck on sandbars in Macquarie Harbour, on Tasmania's rugged and sparsely populated west coast. The other whales followed and were got stuck in the shallow waters.

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