80 whales stranded in Australia

Officials rushed Sunday to reach about 80 whales stranded on a remote coast in southern Australia. The group was spotted from the air on Saturday on a rocky coastline at Sandy Cape in the northwest of Tasmania state, Rosemary Gales of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service said. Many of the 80 long-finned pilot whales counted appeared to be dead, she said. Two crews of rescuers were on their way to the region, but were being slowed by the rugged terrain, which also limited the amount of equipment they could carry, Gales said. "The aerial reports indicate the whales have unfortunately stranded on a rocky area of coastline and so have been very badly knocked around by the conditions," Gales said. "Because of the physical beating they take from stranding on rocks and surf, compared to sandy beach strandings, animals die more quickly."