THREE whales that washed ashore at Rocky Beach today (January 5) have been removed and will be sent to be tested to determine the exact species.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) received the report at around 1pm on Wednesday alerting them to the situation.
"We received a report from ORRCA of three live whales that have washed ashore. We arrived a short time later and the animals were alive at first but they passed away shortly thereafter," NPWS area manager Shane Robinson said.
NPWS worked in conjunction with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in the safe removal of the whale carcasses from the beach.
They are believed to be beaked whales, a species that are known as being one of the least known groups of mammals due to their deep-sea habitat and low numbers.
Affinity Helicopters were called in to help with sling equipment to assist in the removal of the carcasses.
At around 5pm the whale carcasses were lifted from the beach by helicopter before being lowered into a truck. A crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the retrieval efforts.
"The carcasses were transferred off the beach and into the back of a truck where they can be taken to a site for further testing and analysis to determine the species," Mr Robinson said.
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