Australia begins elimination of more than 350 dead whales after rescue mission ends

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Australian wildlife officials have started removing hundreds of dead whales Saturday after one of the biggest massive stranding events globally. They officially ended the rescue efforts, believing that there were no more survivors.Conservation experts and trained volunteers were able to save 108 of the approximately 470 pilot whales spotted Monday on a remote sandbar in Macquarie Harbor in Tasmania. Rescuers have spent the last five days performing dangerous rescue missions under unpredictable conditions to save as many animals as possible.

Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Dr Kris Carlyon said in a statement that rescuers have done a tremendous job saving the whales. “We only had one whale left overnight, which is a good result considering that 20 whales were released yesterday,” Carlyon said.

AUSTRALIA-ANIMAL-ENVIRONMENT
Rescuers attempt to save a whale at a beach in Macquarie Harbor on Tasmania’s rugged west coast on September 25, 2020. MELL CHUN / AFP via Getty Images

“Each whale rescued is an incredible result given the complex conditions and is a testament to the hard and skillful work the response team is undertaking,” said Peter Gutwein, Prime Minister of Tasmania, in a statement. “At times like these, Tasmanians come together to respond as quickly and compassionately as possible.

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