Rescuers fighting to rescue a 270 whale pod trapped in western Tasmania have discovered 200 more wheels at a distance of about 10 km in a single port, all of which appear to be dead.
The sighting was seen by helicopter over Macquarie Harbor on Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of long-haul pilot whales to about 290.
The death toll could rise further today as infrared helicopter surveillance data is analyzed, said Nick Deka, rescue coordinator at Tasmania Parks. Wildlife Service Regional Manager.
Dr Chris Carlin, a wildlife biologist with the Marine Conservation Program, said on Wednesday that the pairing of 200 whales had made the current trend the largest in Tasmania’s history.
Records show some 294 whales, including long-haul pilots, stranded in Stanley in northwestern Tasmania in 1935.
About 60 rescuers, led by the Tasmanian government’s maritime rescue program, are entering the second day of the rescue, centered in an area called Fraser Flats near the town of Strahan.
On Tuesday, about 25 whales were unloaded from the sand dunes and pulled by boat for open water, but the two main ones returned to the stranded pods.
Deka said the new group of 200 vines was in two mines between 7 and 10 kilometers south of the main rescue site.
They seem to have become unwanted and probably entered the market at the same time as others. A crew was on its way to the new stranding site Wednesday morning. The port is about 35 km long and 8 km wide.
“From the air, everyone looks dead,” Deca said.
When asked why they hadn’t seen him before, he said: “The water is a very dark tannin color and they may have been trapped and then washed back into the abyss. Under no circumstances did they seem to escape the wind. ”
He said that if those 200 whales had been spotted late Monday when the group was spotted north, it would not have changed their strategy.
When the first 270 whales were discovered, it was estimated that about 90 had already died. “We will still be focusing our efforts on the Fraser Flats, as they have the best chance of survival.”
On Tuesday, Deca told Guardian Australia that two options were being considered. It was one thing to bury whales in a landfill, or another to tie them up in the open water and use the current to keep them on shore.
“We know we can’t leave them at the port because they will raise a variety of issues. We are committed to recovery and settlement. ”
He said Wednesday that the focus was still on rescuing whales in the Fraser Flats and that he was optimistic that the remaining 25 wheels would be added today.
About 40 government staff and 20 volunteers, mostly from the harbor fishing industry, are in the deep water in the chest and are unloading sand by tying them under whales.
Tags are attached to the rescue wheels for monitoring. Pilot whales are very social and need to be moved far away from the main group so that they do not turn and do not return.
Deca said it was “disappointing” that the two whales rescued on Tuesday returned to the stranding site. “But most whales [we saved] Are still in deep water and are still swimming. We have been more successful than that. ”
Carillon said: “There’s nothing to show for it [stranding] There is a human reason. This is a natural phenomenon and we know that strands have already occurred and we know that from the biological record.
“As far as we can prevent this from happening, we can do very little.”
Although Carillon said the incident was natural, there was a public expectation that survivors would be helped.
He said feeding some animals was an option, but it was not a simple exercise and was not being considered at this stage.
“We feel like we have a chance with animals that are still alive.”