Whales die in Tasmanian stranding

October 30, 2005

Scientists are trying to determine what caused scores of pilot whales to beach themselves in Tasmania.

The Australian Navy denies reports that ships using sonar were responsible for the stranding. At least 130 whales died.

Marine biologist Rosemary Gales told the BBC that the whales may have become confused in coastal waters.

"This is a bad one," she said. "It's certainly not the most extreme, but Marian Bay unfortunately has a sad history of having mass strandings of pilot whales."

Some of the whales were guided back to sea by rescuers. Researchers hope that tissue samples from the dead whales will hold some clue to the stranding.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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