In Australia, a race against time to rescue more than 200 pilot dolphins stranded for unknown reasons

In Australia, a race against time to rescue more than 200 pilot dolphins stranded for unknown reasons
Macquarie Bay, Western Tasmania (Australia)
Macquarie Bay, Western Tasmania (Australia) (GOOGLE MAPS)

Images Impressive: We see animals trapped, trapped in water shortages and trying to fight back to start over. And completely distracted. These are pilot whales, also known as “pilot dolphins”, which are very widespread dolphins, not dangerous creatures. They got lost in the Gulf of Macquarie, a very special place on the west coast of Tasmania. It is far south, a spectacular yet hospitable coastline, mostly windy because there is no land after Cape Horn in South America.

Macquarie Bay is a kind of trap: it appears to be twice as large as the Archaean bed. Very large body of water, but with a narrow entrance: it is difficult to return to recovering the ocean. A total of 270 animals were trapped, in three separate groups, very close to some beaches.

About 60 to 70 of them have already lost their lives, so it is trying to save the other 200. More than 70 have mobilized.

But surgery is difficult. Each animal must be approached one by one, by boat, and then placed in a kind of safety net that will detect high seas in order to guide them towards the exit of the bay. When managing all the waves. They are irregular in Macquarie Bay and avoid sandy beaches with many traps.

This is a countdown because the bodies of these animals must be moist and cool, otherwise they will go dry, their muscles will deteriorate and death is ensured. This is a challenge due to the lack of water. Fortunately, it is still the end of winter in Australia, the weather is humid and it is not too hot, between 5 and 10 in the daytime. Already 25 animals have been taken back to sea But there are almost 200 left. As more hours pass, their chances of survival decrease.

It is very difficult to know why these dolphins suffer. This is a real mystery. This phenomenon is very rare, but it is not the first. In Tasmania, an event of this magnitude already occurred twenty years ago. There are examples in neighboring New Zealand (600 pilot dolphins stranded three years ago) and in Japan or Argentina Patagonia.

As for the explanation, no one really knows. There are many hypotheses. Disease: Some diseased animals may lose their navigation bearings, and since these dolphins live in groups, they may lead to following sick animals. Weather: Extreme conditions can cause distractions in animals. Or a human origin: military sonar with a high frequency that disrupts the dolphin’s orientation system has already been isolated in the past. But the truth is, we don’t really know.

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