Australia counts record 470 stranded whales as rescue continues
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rescuers trying to free a pod of whales beached off the Australian island of Tasmania said on Wednesday they had found another 200 stranded mammals, bringing the total to 470 and making it one of the country's biggest beachings. As a rescue effort began its third day off the southern island's rugged west coast, rescuers said they spotted another large group of pilot whales during an aerial reconnaissance of remote Macquarie Harbour, and most were believed to be dead.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rescuers trying to free a pod of whales beached off the Australian island of Tasmania said on Wednesday they had found another 200 stranded mammals, bringing the total to 470 and making it one of the country's biggest beachings.
As a rescue effort began its third day off the southern island's rugged west coast, rescuers said they spotted another large group of pilot whales during an aerial reconnaissance of remote Macquarie Harbour, and most were believed to be dead.
"They didn't look to be in a condition that would warrant rescue," said Nic Deka, a regional manager of Tasmania's Parks and Wildlife Service, at a news conference.
"Most of them appeared to be dead. If they can be saved we'll send crews over there to do that."
The discovery makes it Australia's biggest beaching in modern times, and draws attention to a natural phenomenon which scientists say has no known cause.
In 1996, 320 pilot whales washed up on the coast of Western Australia, in what was then reported to be the country's biggest mass stranding.
About 600 pilot whales beached in nearby New Zealand in 2017. Pilot whales are a species of oceanic dolphin that grow to 7 metres (23 ft) long and can weigh up to 3 tonnes.
Of the remaining 270 stranded whales off Tasmania, at least 90 have died and rescuers have set free about 25 since arriving on Monday at the site about 200 kms (120 miles) northwest of the state capital Hobart.
The team of about 65 state park workers, fishermen and volunteers hoped to free more whales on Wednesday, a process which involves wading waist-deep in freezing water, attaching slings to the animals and guiding them out of the harbour with a boat.
"We're not at a point where we're considering euthanasia ... but it is always something that we have at the back of our mind," said Kris Carlyon, a wildlife biologist with the state government conservation agency.
"We're all optimistic about getting more off today. We're still very hopeful."
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son