Mass stranding of whales, dolphins in Australia
Some of the stranded pilot whales on a King Island beach are seen in this handout obtained March 2, 2009. Rescuers were trying on Monday to save dozens of pilot whales after almost 200 beached themselves on an island near Australia's southern state of Tasmania, with many already dead. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Nearly 200 whales and several dolphins stranded themselves on a beach in Australia's southern island state of Tasmania Sunday night, Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported on Monday.
AAP quoted Tasmania's Parks and Wildlife Service staff Chris Arthur as saying, "I know of a number of strandings like that (with both whales and dolphins) but it is unusual."
According to Arthur, about 194 pilot whales and six or seven bottlenose dolphins began to strand on Tasmania's King Island from7.30 p.m. local time on Sunday. Some of the creatures had died, but many were still alive.
Some of the stranded pilot whales on a King Island beach are seen in this handout obtained March 2, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
"DPIW (Department of Primary Industries and Water) and Parks and Wildlife mobilized staff overnight and a number of staff will be moving to the island this morning," Arthur said.
Local residents also offered assistance to help return the creatures to the water.
"While there are animals alive, there is always hope," Arthur said.
In January, 48 sperm whales died at Perkins Island near Smithton. That was the second-largest sperm whale stranding in Tasmania. The largest was in 1998 when 66 whales were stranded on Ocean Beach near Strahan in northwest of Tasmanian island.
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