About 270 whales are stranded on sandbars off the coast of the Australian island of Tasmania.

One third of the animals have already died.

Rescue workers try to get the living whales back into the deep water.

The whales were discovered on Monday.

It is not often that such a large group of animals strand near Tasmania.

Rescue workers, including 40 scientists, 20 police officers and local fishermen, are trying to get the whales back into the deep water.

The animals are in a remote location and the weather is turbulent, making the rescue difficult.

It may be pilot whales, a whale that can reach 7 meters in length and weigh 3,000 kilos.

Their size also makes it physically demanding to get the fish back into deeper water.

Some whales are too big to move.

It is not clear why whole groups of whales sometimes strand at the same time.

The animals are known to follow a leader and gather around injured whales or whales that have gotten into trouble.