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: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

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

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

( —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.