OCEAN BEACH: Almost 200 whales have perished at an exposed, surf-swept beach on the rugged west coast of Tasmania, where Australian rescuers were only able to save a few dozen survivors on Thursday.

After an arduous, day-long effort in difficult conditions, state wildlife services said just 32 of the 226 beached long-finned pilot whales were strong enough to be rescued.

“We’ve been refloating those whales that have been deemed suitable for release back to sea,” Sam Thalmann, a marine biologist, said.

“Every whale that has been released has been tagged,” he said. “There may be a few that restrand unfortunately, but we expect that by far the majority will head out to sea.” Locals had covered some of the mammals with blankets and doused them with buckets of seawater to keep them alive.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2022

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