Around 70 whales are stranded in a bay on the Australian island of Tasmania, officials said on Monday. Naval experts are now mobilizing to see if a rescue is possible.
The whales live in Macquarie Harbor on the island’s rugged and sparsely populated west coast, where they are believed to get stuck on a sandbar.
Police are on hand and marine experts are being deployed to assess the situation, Tasmania’s environmental department said.
“Additional crews with whale rescue equipment will arrive later today,” the department said in a statement.
The creatures are believed to be pilot whales, but the species has not yet been confirmed.
Bulky whale stranding is relatively common in Tasmania, but the large number of whales involved offers a daunting prospect of rescue.
The last stranding comes when a humpback whale stuck in a tropical river in northern Australia finally returned to the ocean after more than two weeks.
Public broadcaster ABC reported that the creature, which spent 17 days in the crocodile-infested waters of Kakadu National Park, was spotted in the open sea off Darwin.
Scientists had weighed options to get the hump to safety after it was the first known whale to travel up the muddy river, but were relieved when it returned to the sea on its own.
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