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Rescuers in Tasmania Try to Save Beached Whales

For whatever reason beaching of whales on Tasmania continues to be a problem:

No hope ... 43 whales died in a mass stranding off the northwest tip of Tasmania / Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife

RESCUERS are battling the odds to save five sperm whales that survived a mass stranding on the northwest tip of Tasmania.

Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Liz Wren said four staff members had made their way in a dinghy to Perkins Island, near the mouth of the Duck River at Smithton, where 48 whales beached themselves last night.

“They are stabilising the five surviving whales and are monitoring them until the next high tide due this afternoon, which will give them an opportunity to rescue them,” Ms Wren said.

She said the area where the whales had stranded themselves was treacherous, with numerous sandbars making navigation difficult.

She said some of the surviving whales were up 18m long.

Department of Primary Industries and Water spokesman Warwick Brennan said sperm whales were the “lords of the sea”.

“They weigh up to 50 tonnes and have a lot of blubber so they easily overheat,” he told The Mercury. []

Just a couple of months ago 64 whales were found beached on Tasmania as well.  The first beaching happened near Stanley, Tasmania with this one happening at Perkins Island just a short distance to the west:

Locations of whales beached in Northwest Tasmania.

The Bass Strait between Tasmania and the Australian mainland is known for its treacherous currents.  I wonder if the beaching of whales that continues to happen regularly in Australia has anything to do with the current that flow through the Strait that possibly the whales use to help navigate?

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