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The lifeguards’ boats and semi-rigid boats sail around to try to help them out. Some photographs show lifeguards in wetsuits standing up, submerged in water up to their waists, a few feet from the stranded cetaceans.
Kris Carlyon, a government-employed biologist, said about “a third” of the 270. The animals died Monday night, and saving live pilot whales is a “challenge” that could take days, especially since you have to use a boat to get close to them.
Tuesday, these efforts seemed to pay off, with at least 25 animals rescued and accompanied to the high seas with boats, according to Nic Deka, who is in charge of this rescue operation. “We managed to rescue a small number, which seemed to have remained at sea,” he said. “We are increasing our efforts” to save more animals, he added. – Choosing who to save – Stranding of marine mammals is relatively frequent in Tasmania, but this is worrying because of the number of animals affected.
Some 60 people, including employees of nearby aquaculture farms, are involved in this rescue operation, which is highly complicated by the Cold, humidity and an irregular tidal regime Carlyon said that most pilot whales, which are partially underwater, should be able to survive several days and that this climate, unpleasant for humans, works in favor of these mammals marine. “The weather is bad for people, but for cetaceans it is ideal, because of the humidity and the freshness,” he explained to journalists in the nearby town of Strahan, in the north of the bay.
Lifeguards will have to select the animals they save and focus on those that are more accessible and those that appear healthier. Most of the cetaceans of a group of about 30 stranded on a beach died Monday . And it is estimated that around 60 have died stranded on sandbanks since then. “It is inevitable that we will lose others,” Carlyon warned. On Wednesday a precise assessment will be made from the sky, with infrared cameras. – Frequent Trapping – When these highly social cetaceans emerge, the other challenge will be helping them avoid the sandbars of Macquarie Harbor to reach the high seas.
Scientists have no explanation for the massive strandings. The group may have gotten lost when they got too close to shore to hunt or followed a whale or two that ran aground. Karen Stockin, a marine mammal specialist at Massey University in New Zealand, says Tasmania is a frequent grounding place for pilot whales, a species that is not considered threatened. “It appears to be a known trap for whales.
There are frequent strandings in this sector,” he told AFP. Although pilot whales are considered resistant cetaceans, the First responders fight a race against time, he added. Risks to mammals include being unable to cool their body, muscle deterioration, or some of their organs crushing from prolonged contact with the bottom.Their social nature can also be detrimental. because some released animals may try to stay with the group and run aground again.
Time is not a favourable element either. “The faster the rescue operation, the better the chances of survival,” he concludes.