Over 140 whales found dead after mass stranding in Western Australia

More than 150 short-finned pilot whales were found stranded early Friday in Hamelin Bay, Western Australia, located in the country's southwestern tip.

Despite ongoing rescue efforts, only six of the whales have survived the beaching, according to officials with Western Australia's Parks and Wildlife Service. Over 100 volunteers were on hand to help the parks and wildlife staff rescue the whales and try to get them back out to sea.

According to Jeremy Chick, an incident controller with the wildlife service, the strength of the animals and the windy and possibly wet weather conditions affected when and how they could attempt to move them out to sea.

whale stranding(Photo/Western Australia Department of Biodiversity)

"Most of the whales beached themselves on dry land overnight and have not survived. Rescue operations will be hampered by deteriorating, weather conditions and we need to ensure the safety of everyone involved before we move the whales," Chick said.

"The main objectives are to ensure the safety of staff and volunteers as well as the whales' greatest chance of survival."

A cause of the stranding is not yet known.

Hamelin Bay is located about 192 miles southwest of Perth.

A shark alert was issued for the area as the dead whales were expected to attract sharks. This comes at a time when surfers where looking to possibly head to the ocean due to large swells generated from Tropical Cyclone Marcus, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The wildlife service said these pilot whales are known to frequent tropical and subtropical waters but groups usually number less than 100.

The largest mass stranding in Western Australia occurred in 1996 when 320 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves in the town of Dunsborough.

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Indonesians rush to save beached whales
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Nine whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were stranded at Ujong Kareung Beach, Aceh Province, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh government and environmental NGO are trying to save the whale by pulling back into the sea. (Photo credit should read JUNAIDI HANAFIAH / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Nine whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were stranded at Ujong Kareung Beach, Aceh Province, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh government and environmental NGO are trying to save the whale by pulling back into the sea. (Photo credit should read JUNAIDI HANAFIAH / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Nine whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were stranded at Ujong Kareung Beach, Aceh Province, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh government and environmental NGO are trying to save the whale by pulling back into the sea. (Photo credit should read JUNAIDI HANAFIAH / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
This general picture taken by a drone camera shows Indonesian officers from Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and environmental activists trying to refloat nine stranded sperm whales in Aceh Besar on November 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Residents witnessed a group of Sperm whales stranded in Aceh Besar Beach on November 13, 2017 in Aceh, Indonesia. A total of 10 stranded Sperm whales are injured. PHOTOGRAPH BY Oviyandi / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Oviyandi / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Residents witnessed a group of Sperm whales stranded in Aceh Besar Beach on November 13, 2017 in Aceh, Indonesia. A total of 10 stranded Sperm whales are injured. PHOTOGRAPH BY Oviyandi / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Oviyandi / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
This general picture taken by a drone camera shows Indonesian officers from Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and environmental activists trying to refloat nine stranded sperm whales in Aceh Besar on November 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Stranded whales are seen as people are gathered at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo credit should read Hendri Ab ik / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Officers from the Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and environmental activists help to refloat nine beached sperm whales in Aceh Besar on November 13, 2017. Environmentalists on November 13 tried to refloat nine sperm whales which had beached themselves on Krueng Raya beach in Aceh Besar. / AFP PHOTO / Chaideer MAHYUDDIN (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Two of the nine stranded whales are seen as rescue crew members prepare on a boat at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh, Indonesia on November 13, 2017. Aceh rescue crews and members of environmental NGO's are trying to save the nine stranded whales by pushing them back into ocean. (Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Men look at nine beached sperm whales in Aceh Besar on November 13, 2017. Environmentalists on November 13 tried to refloat nine sperm whales which had beached themselves on Krueng Raya beach in Aceh Besar. / AFP PHOTO / Chaideer MAHYUDDIN (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)
ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 13: Residents witnessed a group of Sperm whales stranded in Aceh Besar Beach on November 13, 2017 in Aceh, Indonesia. A total of 10 stranded Sperm whales are injured. PHOTOGRAPH BY Oviyandi / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Oviyandi / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
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