By Angus Watson, Wayne Chang and Heather Chen, CNN
Updated: Thu, 22 Sep 2022 07:36:33 GMT
Around 200 whales have died and just 35 remain alive following a mass stranding in Australia this week, rescue teams say.
The pilot whales were found Wednesday stranded on an exposed beach along the coast of Tasmania.
Rescue efforts are ongoing to save the remaining whales.
"We are primarily focused this morning on really getting into that rescue operation and getting [the whales] released," Brendon Clark of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service told the Australia Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.
"We are conscious that some of them may re-beach themselves and so we'll be monitoring that."
Rescuers had previously estimated that about half of the whales were still alive.
This is the second mass stranding of whales to have taken place in Tasmania this week after more than a dozen sperm whales, mostly young males and believed to be part of the same bachelor pod, were found dead on another beach.
Cases of whale strandings have baffled marine scientists for decades.
Tasmania's largest stranding was in 2020 when more than 450 pilot whales were found.