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Tasmania: Last Whale Dies After West Coast Mass Stranding; 'We Did Everything Possible'

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HOBART, Tasmania -- The last survivor of the weekend whale stranding on Tasmania's West Coast died at 7pm last night.

Parks and Wildlife Service incident controller Chris Arthur said the 12-metre sperm whale died following attempts late in the day to return it to the harbor entrance at Hells Gates.

"We did everything possible to save this whale," Mr Arthur said.

"The Tasmanian team assisting at the rescue are world leaders in whale rescue and our role is to give whales every possible opportunity to survive, which is what we did during the past several days.

"We were fortunate in that we were able to assist two whales to return to the open ocean on Sunday, but we were unable to save the sperm whales that remained in the harbor.

"We learn from every stranding and every stranding prepares us better for the next one."'

Mr Arthur expressed his gratitude to the Tassal and Pentuna fish farms.

"They were very generous in offering staff and vessels which were critical in the rescue efforts and this has been greatly appreciated."

Twenty-two sperm whales died after beaching on Ocean Beach outside Macquarie Heads on Saturday. Two minke whales and two sperm whale died in Macquarie Harbor.

The whales on Ocean Beach will be left on the beach and nature will take its course in breaking them down. The whales in Macquarie Harbor will be deflated so they will naturally bed down into the sand and break down.

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