Nine rescued whales beach again in Australia

Mar 25, 2009
Rescuers assist beached long fin pilot whales at Hamelin Bay. All but one of the 10 whales that survived a mass beaching on Australia's west coast were Wednesday believed to have come back ashore and were unlikely to survive, authorities said.

All but one of the 10 whales that survived a mass beaching on Australia's west coast were Wednesday believed to have come back ashore and were unlikely to survive, authorities said.

Rescuers used trucks and cranes fitted with giant slings to move 11 long-finned pilot by road to sheltered waters for release, after they beached with about 80 others on Monday at Hamelin Bay, south of Perth city.

One of those moved was put to death by specialists after straggling in poor health near to shore, and an aerial patrol spotted nine others again stranded along an impassable Wednesday.

"As well as the six whales east of Augusta three other whales have been sighted stranded in the Hamelin Bay area," said the environment department's Jason Foster.

"One has been attacked by sharks," he told Australian Associated Press.

Two of the whales were already dead and the rest were in such poor condition they would need to be put down, he said.

"The location is along a rugged stretch of coastline and it is impossible to bring in the machinery necessary to attempt a further rescue," he added.

Four-wheel drive motorcycles would have to be used to access the site, with no safe place for a helicopter to land, he said.

Tests and measurements would be done to confirm the whales came from the beached pod, before they were put to death by wildlife officers.

The latest beaching takes the total number of whales stranded around southern and Tasmania in the past four months to more than 400.

Earlier this month rescuers saved 54 after nearly 200 of the beached themselves on King Island off Australia's southern coast.

In November, more than 150 pilot whales died after beaching themselves on Tasmania's west coast and in January, 48 died on a sandbar at the north of the island.

The phenomenon of whale strandings and the causes remain the subject of scientific debate.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mariners urged to look out for whales

Oct 01, 2007

The U.S. Coast Guard has warned mariners to take care to avoid hitting whales, after three whales were killed off the California coast.

Recommended for you

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

Nov 21, 2014

The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the ...

Mysterious glowworm found in Peruvian rainforest

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer has discovered what appears to be a new type of bioluminescent larvae. He told members of the press recently that he was walking near a camp in the Peruvian ...

The unknown crocodiles

Nov 21, 2014

Just a few years ago, crocodilians – crocodiles, alligators and their less-known relatives – were mostly thought of as slow, lazy, and outright stupid animals. You may have thought something like that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.