Officials said 108 of some 470 long-finned pilot whales had been rescued from sandbars at Macquarie Harbour on the island state of Tasmania’s west coast. There are no living whales remaining in the harbor, the Parks and Wildlife Service said.
The pod got into trouble earlier this week, with efforts now turning to the task of disposing 350 carcasses at sea, which the wildlife service said will take a number of days.
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Pilot whales are known for stranding in mass groups. The top five largest beachings in Tasmania, dating to the early 1800s, all are from the same species.
David Hocking, a marine mammal scientist at Monash University in Melbourne, said pilot whales form strong family bonds and can travel in groups of up to 1,000.
Long-finned pilot whales are more closely related to dolphins and rely on echolocation, a series of rebounding clicks, to navigate.
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