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Nearly 100 Whales Have Died After Being Stuck On A Sandbar Off Tasmania

Nearly 100 Whales Have Died After Being Stuck On A Sandbar Off Tasmania

The race is on to save dozens of pilot whales who have stranded themselves on a sandbar off the coast of Tasmania.

Experts believe roughly 90 of the 270 whales have died since they became beached on Monday (21 September).

They say there separate pods of whales have been stuck outside Macquarie Harbour.

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Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Kris Carlyon said they will be prioritising the whales with the best chance of survival.

"Some animals may simply be too big or in a too difficult location to deal with," Dr Carlyon said to the ABC.

"We don't really know how long this rescue is going to take, so this morning's phase will be critical in determining what's possible.

"[The operation] is likely to take days. In terms of mass strandings in Tasmania, this is up there with the trickiest we've had to deal with."

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The first task will be to 'refloat' the whales and see how they are doing.

Experts say the task will be very tricky and they will need to work with the tides as they come and go.

Marine biologist and science communicator Dr Vanessa Pirotta told Channel 9's Today programme: "Tide is very important. You are talking about an animal the size of your car, essentially 5 metres in length, a couple of tonnes worth of weight.

"If there is extra water around it's going to be better for the whales as well as rescuers."

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Dr Pirotta added that there will likely be many more deaths.

"Unfortunately some animals will continue to die probably just because they have been on the water, or stranded on the sandbar for quite a long time," she said.

"Actions will be definitely taken to assess which animals are still alive, and from that which animals will need to be helped as best as possible, ensuring human safety."

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: News, Animals, Australia

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Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.