The whales are stranded on Perkins Island in north-west Tasmania. (Photo: Parks and Wildlife)
Rescuers in north-west Tasmania are waiting on equipment to arrive from Hobart so they can try save survivors of a pod of about 50 stranded sperm whales in the state’s far north-west.
The mass stranding on the western-most point of Perkins Island near Smithton was reported to police last night.
It was originally thought only two had survived, but Chris Arthur from Parks and Wildlife said today eight whales were showing signs of life as the tide came in this morning.
Mr Arthur says it is the largest stranding of sperm whales he has seen and it will be a difficult rescue.
“What the crews can do is try and give the animals the best chance we can.”
“We’ve got gale force winds forecast and the weather doesn’t look as if it’s going to be kind.
In November, about 50 pilot whales died at nearby Stanley and another 155 stranded shortly after at Sandy Cape on the state’s west coast.
UPDATE 01.24: Rescuers are administering palliative care to the last two sperm whales alive.
Three more whales died overnight and rescuers are not holding out much hope for the last two.
Rescuers have been working tirelessly to stabilise them but have been hampered by the remote location and difficulties in handling the whales, which are over 10 metres long.
Rescuer David Pemberton says they had been hoping to refloat the five remaining animals but woke to find three had died overnight.
He says the high swell is making it impossible to try to save the last two.
RIP 01.29: Sadly, none of the whales survived.