Whales die in mass beaching
Mar 02,2009 00:00 by UPI

HOBART, Australia - Rescue personnel say more than 140 pilot whales died after beaching themselves on King Island, northwest of Tasmania.

"It's pretty darn sad, you can hear them crying," John Nievaart, one of an estimated 200 rescuers trying to keep the whales hydrated with wet bedspreads, blankets and towels, told The Australian.

The dead whales were part of a pod of nearly 200 pilot whales and several bottlenose dolphins that came ashore Sunday on Naracoopa Beach, The Australian reported Monday.

Fifteen whales had been towed to deep water by rescue teams using a Jet Ski and boat. It was unclear Monday whether they would try to return to the beach, where rescue personnel continued to tend to the remaining whales.

Officials said they didn't know why the whales beached themselves.

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