Over a dozen sperm whales died and washed ashore in a mass stranding event on King Island, north of Tasmania. The whales all appeared to be young males who, according to Tasmania’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Source: Reuters/YouTube

Wildlife biologists and a veterinarian traveled to the island to investigate the shores with at least fourteen carcasses. The Parks and Wildlife Services staff are also monitoring the situation.

“It is possible the whales were part of the same bachelor pod – a group of younger male sperm whales associating together after leaving the maternal group,” a department spokesperson said.

“Members of the public are reminded it is an offence to interfere with protected wildlife, including being in possession of parts of a dead whale, and are asked to keep their distance.”

The department said that it is normal to see sperm whales in the area, and they will survey to see if there are others in the area.

Scientists believe that navigation issues, geography, falling tides, predators, or extreme weather all play a role in whale strandings. They also note that climate change affects whales’ prey and forces them and the whales into shallow water, where they can get stuck.

Read more about whales in One Green Planet, including the two beluga whales brought to a sanctuarymilitary sonar exercise linked to beached whaleshypersonic weapons testing affecting killer whalesover 100 beached whales saved by rescuerswhales, dolphins, and porpoises face the unprecedented risk of extinction;  and humpback whale trapped in fishing gear.

Sign this petition to help save the North Atlantic right whale from extinction.

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