Source Pravda.Ru

People rescue Tasmanian whales

A massive rescue operation is under way off the southeast coast of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/08/23/35116.html ' target=_blank>Tasmania after two mysterious strandings of long-finned pilot whales and bottle-nosed dolphins within 24 hours of each other claimed the lives of 115 animals.

But after rushing to the scene of the deaths, rescuers and volunteers on Maria Island had saved 22 pilot whales beached at Darlington Bay by lifting them back into the water with slings.

Scientists will begin today investigating the cause of the two incidents just a couple of hundred of kilometres apart, wrote The Australian.

"As I'm looking out to sea now I can see seven people holding rescued whales and beyond that there's a police launch out there and there's a mother and calf out there, so we've had a good success rate," Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service district manager Shane Hunniford said.

Rescuers were shepherding a pod of dolphins away from the whales.

"They're companion marine animals so it's not uncommon for them to accompany one another in the wild, so when one species goes ashore it can often take the whole pod or both species coming ashore," Mr Hunniford said, informs Melbourne Herald Sun.

While it is known strandings tend to peak every 10 or so years, it is still a mystery as to why they happen.