Australia says majority of 470-strong beached whale pod has died

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The majority of a 470-strong pod of pilot whales found stranded off Australia’s remote southern coast has died, officials said on Wednesday, as rescuers struggled in freezing waters and fading light to free those still alive.

The group, which is the biggest beaching in the country’s modern history, were first spotted a wide sandbank during an aerial reconnaissance of rugged Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania state on Monday.

After two days of a difficult and dangerous rescue attempt, state marine scientists said at least 380 of the long-finned pilot whales had died.

By late Wednesday, around fifty of the mammals were freed but experts said there was a high likelihood they would return as many did during the rescue attempt a day earlier, creating an exhausting loop for rescuers who cannot work through the night.

The outlook for the remaining 30 stranded and still alive

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Australian rescuers forced to euthanise some beached whales as toll rises

Only a few dozen of the 470 whales stranded on Australia's coast can still be saved, rescuers warned
Only a few dozen of the 470 whales stranded on Australia’s coast can still be saved, rescuers warned

Australian rescuers were forced Thursday to begin euthanising some surviving whales from a mass stranding that has already killed 380 members of the giant pod.


While 88 pilot whales have been saved since the pod was discovered beached on Tasmania’s rugged western seaboard four days ago, the death toll is expected to rise as the window for rescue closes.

“We still have a few more live animals that we think are going to be viable to move,” said Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service manager Nic Deka, praising the hard “yakka” (work) of rescuers who will continue until nightfall and into Friday.

“There is a likelihood that we’ll be continuing the rescue effort tomorrow… our focus has been on those that appear the most viable and have the most chance of success,” he

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Australia Says Majority of 470-Strong Beached Whale Pod Has Died | World News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The majority of a 470-strong pod of pilot whales found stranded off Australia’s remote southern coast has died, officials said on Wednesday, as rescuers struggled in freezing waters and fading light to free those still alive.

The group, which is the biggest beaching in the country’s modern history, were first spotted a wide sandbank during an aerial reconnaissance of rugged Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania state on Monday.

After two days of a difficult and dangerous rescue attempt, state marine scientists said at least 380 of the long-finned pilot whales had died.

By late Wednesday, around fifty of the mammals were freed but experts said there was a high likelihood they would return as many did during the rescue attempt a day earlier, creating an exhausting loop for rescuers who cannot work through the night.

The outlook for the remaining 30 stranded and still alive pilot whales, a

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