Australian rescuers had to decide, on Thursday, to kill “pilot dolphins” that had survived being stranded in a Tasmanian bay, while 380 of their kings have already died.
Only a dozen of the 470 “pilot dolphins” caught in a bay in Tasmania, Australia, could be rescued, announced on Thursday, September 24, the rescue effort that went off to kill the most suffering, while 380 of their kings have already died.
However, tolls may worsen further, as the chance of survival decreases over time. “We still have some animals that are still alive and that we think are in a condition to be moved,” says Nic Deka, the director. of the Tasmanian Natural Parks.
He explained that the rescuers, whose job is to “physically try”, will continue their rescue efforts until Friday night. “It is likely that we will continue our efforts to save them tomorrow. Focused on those that appear to be most viable and that we are most likely to succeed in,” he said.
About 60 people, including environmentalists and workers from nearby aquaculture farms, spent hours in the icy waters of Macquarie Harbor, amid the cries of dying whales.
The “pilot dolphins”, which can be up to six meters long and weigh a ton, are known to be particularly sociable. Some of them resisted the means used to save them and tried to return to their families. after being liberated, which led them to go aground for the second time.
To shorten their suffering
The level of distress of some pilot whales is such that the authorities said they had to continue slaughtering at least four “pilot dolphins” to shorten their suffering. “These four whales were killed a little earlier in the day using firearms and special ammunition,” said Kris Carlyon, a marine biologist at the Tasmanian Department of the Environment.
“We have a few more that we are currently reviewing on a veterinary basis,” he said. “This is based solely on animal welfare reasons,” he said. “It’s always something we think about and we only use it when needed.”
Rescuers on Thursday focused their efforts on 20 to 25 whales, partially submerged, with boats with cables connected to escort them out to sea, but now they are forced to think of the best way to evacuate. the carcasses of almost 400 mammals that have already died.
“We are starting to develop a plan, we are prioritizing their disposal at sea. We are continuing to seek expert advice on exactly where to leave them,” says Nic Deka. Once left, the carcasses will “swell and float” which can pose a danger to navigation, pollute the bay and attract sharks and other predators.
A still unknown phenomenon
The reasons why whales sometimes fail in this way are unknown even to researchers who have studied this phenomenon for several decades. or that they would have followed one or two of those who would have gotten lost.
For Kris Carlyon, this is a “natural event”, strings of the species have occurred regularly throughout history, both in South Australia and New Zealand, as well as in other parts of the world. “We are intervening in this type of situation but there is not much we can do to prevent it from happening again,” he stressed.