The pod, which is stranded on Ocean Beach, appears to be pilot whales and at least half are presumed to still be alive, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday.
Dave Lundquist, marine technical advisor at the Department of Conservation, in an email said a technical team on Monday had assessed the situation and euthanised the surviving whales.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) said the pod of 49 long-finned pilot whales was found early on Monday at Farewell Spit, about 90 kilometres north of the South Island tourist town of Nelson.
More pilot whales were found stranded on an Australian coast on Wednesday, raising the total to almost 500 in the largest mass stranding ever recorded in the island state of Tasmania.
Up to 90 whales have died after becoming stranded in a remote bay in southern Australia, with rescuers warning on Tuesday the mission to save another 180 still stuck will prove “challenging.”
New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) said in total 97 pilot whales and three dolphins died in the stranding, adding that they were notified of the incident on Sunday.
Sri Lanka’s navy said on Tuesday more than 100 whales had been rescued after becoming stranded on a beach on the island’s southwest coast a day earlier.
Volunteers first managed to refloat the whales on Monday evening’s high tide. But sometime overnight, the whales beached themselves again. So the volunteers refloated them again on Tuesday.