News State Tasmania Seventy whales returned to sea as mammoth rescue effort enters fourth day
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Seventy whales returned to sea as mammoth rescue effort enters fourth day

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Rescuers working to save the survivors of Tasmania’s largest mass whale stranding say more than 70 animals have been successfully returned to deeper water.

About 270 pilot whales became stranded on a sandbar near Strahan, about 190 kilometres from Hobart on Tasmania’s West Coast, earlier this week.

Another 200 were found, mostly dead, about seven to 10 kilometres away after an aerial scan on Wednesday.

whale stranding tasmania
The rescue effort is into its fourth day, with many of the whales already dead. Photo: AAP

On Thursday, rescuers will focus their efforts on returning the remaining surviving whales stuck on Fraser Flats, in Macquarie Harbour, to deeper water.

On Wednesday, Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service confirmed 380 of the whales had died and 50 had been rescued.

On Thursday morning, the total number of rescued whales was at 70.

Wildlife biologist with the Marine Conservation Program Sam Thalmann described the effort to re-float the animals as “challenging”.

“But the rewards as we have seen over the last few days with over 70 animals released are great and they’re very much well worth the effort,” he said.

-more to come