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Australia prepara un operativo para rescatar a más de un centenar de ballenas varadas

Son unos 230 los animales que quedaron atrapados en la costa oeste de Tasmania. La mitad, seguían con vida.

Unas 230 ballenas estaban varadas en la costa oeste de la isla de Tasmania, apenas dos días después de que aparecieran 14 cachalotes muertos en una isla cercana de la costa sur de ese estado de Australia.

El grupo, que estaba en Ocean Beach, parecía ser de calderones, o ballenas piloto, y se creía que al menos la mitad seguían vivas, indicó este miércoles el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente de Tasmania .

Un equipo del Programa de Conservación Marina estaba reuniendo material de rescate de ballenas y se dirigía al lugar, indicó el departamento.

Un vecino dijo a la Australian Broadcasting Corp. que las ballenas podían verse cerca del acceso a Macquarie Harbour y describió el incidente como «masivo».

David Midson, director general del Consejo de la Costa Occidental, instó a la gente a mantenerse alejada.

«Las ballenas son una especie protegida, incluso ya muertas, y es un delito interferir con un cadáver», indicó la agencia medioambiental.

El científico marino de la Universidad de Griffith, Olaf Meynecke, dijo que es inusual encontrar cachalotes varados. El aumento de las temperaturas podría estar cambiando las corrientes oceánicas y trasladando las fuentes tradicionales de alimento de los cetáceos, señaló.

«Irán a lugares distintos y buscarán fuentes de alimento distintas», explicó Meynecke. «Cuando hacen esto, no están en sus mejores condiciones físicas, porque podrían haber pasado hambre, de modo que esto puede hacer que corran más riesgos y quizá acercarse más a la costa».

El lunes se encontraron 14 ballenas en la Isla King, que forma parte del estado de Tasmania, en el Estrecho de Bass, entre Melbourne y la costa norteña de Tasmania. La agencia medioambiental dijo que los avistamientos de cachalotes no eran inusuales en Tasmania.

Los calderones son conocidos por vararse en gran número, un fenómeno que no se comprende por completo.

Hace dos años, se encontraron unas 470 ballenas piloto de aleta larga, o calderones comunes, en bancos de arena al oeste de la costa de Tasmania, en el el mayor incidente de esta clase registrado en Australia.

Tras una semana de esfuerzos, 111 de esas ballenas fueron rescatadas, pero las demás murieron.

Fuente: AP.


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