Highlights

  • 200 of 230 stranded whales found dead in Australia's Tasmania
  • Only 35 whales are still alive

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Around 200 stranded whales die in Australia

The whales beached two years to the day after the largest mass-stranding in Australia's history was discovered in the same harbor.

After 230 whales were found stranded on the wild and remote west coast of Australia's island state of Tasmania, only 35 were still alive on Thursday.

Half the pod of pilot whales stranded in Macquarie Harbour were presumed to still be alive on Wednesday, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said.

But pounding surf took a toll overnight, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manager Brendon Clark said.

"We've triaged the animals yesterday as part of the preliminary assessment and we've identified those animals that had best chance of survival of the approximately 230 that stranded. Today's focus will be on rescue and release operations," Clark told reporters at nearby Strahan.

"We've got approximately 35 surviving animals out on the beach ... and the primary focus this morning will be on the rescue and release of those animals," Clark added.

The whales beached two years to the day after the largest mass-stranding in Australia's history was discovered in the same harbor.

About 470 long-finned pilot whales were found on Sept. 21, 2020, stuck on sandbars.

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