200 pilot whales stranded in Australia

March 2, 2009 / 2 Comments

Some 200 pilot whales or thereabouts beached themselves on an island near Australia’s southern state of Tasmania. Most are already dead.

pilot whale 200 pilot whales stranded in Australia

Rescuers say there were 194 pilot whales and seven dolphins that were beached. Around 140 of the whales were already dead by the time authorities and civilian wildlife rescuers arrived. There is hope the remaining mammals could be saved if weather conditions remain calm.

“These are fairly robust animals, pilot whales. While there are animals alive, there is always hope.”

The number of whales stranded in Tasmania’s northwest in the past three months is over 400. Some 48 sperm whales died in January.

Pilot whales are smaller whales, about 16 feet in length with a grey underbelly.

Nobody knows why the whales do this.

Theories include interference from sound produced by human activities at sea. Or, we could just blame global warming.