World News

Sperm whales die in mass stranding on Australian beach

todaySeptember 20, 2022 3

share close

By Tiffanie Turnbull

BBC News, Sydney

Two sperm whale carcassesImage source, Sarah Baldock

Image caption,

King Island locals made the discovery on Monday

Fourteen young sperm whales have died in a mass stranding on a beach in Tasmania, Australia.

The whale carcasses were discovered by locals on King Island and reported to authorities on Monday afternoon.

The reason for the stranding is unknown, but wildlife biologists and a vet have been sent to investigate.

Whale strandings are not uncommon in Tasmania – experts say the island state is a “hotspot” for such events.

An aerial survey will determine whether more animals are stranded in the area, a state government spokesperson said.

Sperm whales, which are considered vulnerable globally, can grow up to 18m and weigh up to 45 tonnes.

Wildlife scientist Vanessa Pirotta said the dead whales were probably part of a “bachelor pod” – a group of juvenile male whales – that ran into trouble.

Sperm whales are like “deep-diving buses” and typically spend time in waters further offshore, Dr Pirotta said.

“All whale strandings remain a mystery. We don’t exactly know why they happen,” she told the BBC.

The whales may have “misnavigated”, followed a sick or disoriented leader, or been startled into shallower waters, she added.

In September 2020, more than 380 pilot whales died in Australia’s worst mass stranding. It was also in Tasmania – at Macquarie Heads on the island’s west coast.

Though the cause remains unknown, Dr Pirotta notes Tasmania has “a lot of different currents intersecting with land”.

You may also be interested in:

Media caption,

How to rescue a stranded whale

Written by: admin

Rate it

Previous post


World News

Hurricane Fiona: Dominican Republic hit as storm strengthens

By James FitzGeraldBBC NewsImage source, ReutersImage caption, The president of the Dominican Republic says damage there has been 'considerable'Hurricane Fiona is continuing to strengthen - threatening lives in parts of the Caribbean, say US forecasters.The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the category two storm currently packing speeds of 110mph (175km/h) could even worsen to a category four - the second-highest designation. Rain is lashing Puerto Rico, where at least two […]

todaySeptember 20, 2022 1