Volunteers were working Sunday to save the few survivors among about 100 whales and dolphins stranded on a Tasmanian beach, hoping to them back out to sea.

More than 80 of the animals were dead when a fisherman found them Saturday on King Island. Two whales and six dolphins were considered to be strong enough to attempt to refloat them.

Rescue efforts often break the hearts of those trying to save them as refloated whales often beach again at the same spot or nearby.

"Some of the members of the community were very, very upset after the incident," Tasmania Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Shelley Davison told national broadcaster ABC, adding that "whale beachings are very, very emotional things to go through for everyone who is involved."

King Island whale rescue group member Margaret Barnes told The Mercury newspaper that the stranding was hard on volunteers.

"(They) were screaming for their calves, which were dead. It was all pretty bad."

Three years ago more than 200 whales and dolphins came ashore on King Island, a common spot for beachings in Australia.

Opinions differ on why strandings happen.

A beached whale. File photo.Image by: NIGEL RODDIS / REUTERS

Peter Mooney, general manager of the Parks and Wildlife Service in Tasmania, speaking after 2009's beaching on King Island, said that whales and dolphins often put their own survival at risk to stay with their pod. "They're incredibly socially strong," he said. "One whale beaches and the others come in to be with that whale and we end up with the whole pod stranded. They just won't leave other whales they think are in distress, even if it means their own death.”

Responses to "100 whales, dolphins beach on Tasmanian coast"

  1. Lara says:


  2. Unknown says:

    This is so sad to see. I hope most were saved.
    Syble C.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is truly heartbreaking.....the social and family bond of these beautiful mamals is so admirable....I'm awestruck actually!!

  4. Unknown says:

    That is so sad. Sometimes, it occurs as a result of unnatural disturbances such as military acoustic sonar testing. Most times, it is an occurrence in nature, storms,unusual tide activity, disease. We hear about it more now because there are more people out on the beaches to document's been going on since there were whales in the ocean. Still sad to see those wonderful beings slowly die in such a manner. Of course, we want to save them all.

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. I believe these whales have lil radars like the salmon do. Salmon for thousands of years have been following the same paths to and from to where ever to mate and lay eggs. Even when those waters change, some how the salmon will continue to try and follow the same path. I think these poor whales and dolphins are doing the same thing and they end up stranded and die on land.
    Very sad for these poor animal friends. May they rest in peace...

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