Update as of 3:00 a.m. EDT: Twelve long-finned pilot whales have died Monday after being stranded near Western Australia’s Bunbury harbor about 110 miles south of Perth, Western Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife said, in a statement, adding that six were earlier herded out to deep waters by small boats.
The whales "died after congregating against the breakwater wall in Bunbury harbour this morning," the department said, adding that it was working to move the whales "back into deeper water.” The department also said that rescue operations would continue until nightfall.
At least seven long-finned pilot whales have died and 23 others are stranded near Western Australia’s Bunbury harbor, authorities said Monday morning. A rescue attempt is underway to save the whales after they congregated against a breakwater wall.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) sent out a team to the harbor early Monday, while volunteers from the Dolphin Centre were helping to move the animals back into the water, ABC News reported. Rescue teams are reportedly facing immense difficulty in rescuing the whales as they try to save them from being smashed into the wall by the waves.
Authorities reportedly said that a week-old calf was among the seven dead, while one had been rescued. The DPAW team and volunteers reportedly towed a whale away from the rocks, while several others were fighting for their lives.
The DPAW also reportedly deployed a plane to inspect the area for more whales.
— Nicolas Perpitch (@NicPerpitch) March 23, 2015
— Amelia Broun (@ameliabroun7) March 23, 2015
— Katrin Long (@Katrin_Long) March 23, 2015