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650 whales end up stranded in New Zealand

Posted on Saturday, 11 February, 2017 | Comment icon 32 comments

Hundreds of pilot whales beached themselves. Image Credit: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Sharon Chester
Volunteers have been struggling to refloat hundreds of whales after two consecutive mass strandings.
The problem started on Friday morning when more than 400 pilot whales were found to have beached themselves along a three-mile stretch of coastline at the tip of South Island.

Hundreds of people from all over the country descended on the beaches to try and refloat the animals, but no sooner had they started making headway when another entire pod of 240 pilot whales ended up stranding themselves in the same location.

At present, 335 of the whales have died, 220 are still stranded and 110 are back in the ocean.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly to rescue as many of the whales as possible with some risking close encounters with sharks and stingrays in an effort to help them return to the sea.

It remains unclear exactly why so many of the animals managed to strand themselves however the region's gently sloping beaches are understood to be a contributing factor.

As things stand, this is now New Zealand's third-largest mass stranding in recorded history.

Source: Sky News | Comments (32)

Tags: Whales, New Zealand

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #23 Posted by Aitrui on 12 February, 2017, 0:43
Might be a coincidence, but the worlds largest seismic blasting ship is currently blasting away just off the east coast of New Zealand. The whale meat will definately not be sold to the Japanese or anyone! No need to create a market for whales which beach themselfves. Carcasses will be studied,
Comment icon #24 Posted by seeder on 12 February, 2017, 0:56
Comment icon #25 Posted by seeder on 12 February, 2017, 0:57
Comment icon #26 Posted by Still Waters on 12 February, 2017, 12:05
Good news about the whales at last.
Comment icon #27 Posted by kartikg on 13 February, 2017, 12:39
what were the whales thinking? to have a beach party 
Comment icon #28 Posted by Hawkin on 13 February, 2017, 12:53
When I read about a whale stranding it seems like it's mostly Pilot Whales then any other species.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Claire. on 13 February, 2017, 23:16
The latest problem is preventing the dead whales from exploding. Authorities had to cut holes in 300 bodies to release decomposition pressure.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Kismit on 13 February, 2017, 23:25
Farwell Spot is technically on the west side of the island.
Comment icon #31 Posted by MordorOrc on 14 February, 2017, 11:37
One of the things about the area around Farewell Spit is the geography of the place and especially the underwater topography. Most marine mammals use echolocation for finding their way around and Golden Bay is reasonably large and shallow, rising up until you hit the sandbars in the west and eventually the spit itself. However, the main problem is that the topography of the western part of the bay, where the sea floor rises up so gradually that the dolphin's echolocation cannot detect the change in the level of of the sea floor until they're in shallow waters. By then, it is already too late. ... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by Daughter of the Nine Moons on 14 February, 2017, 12:08
Thank you for that was explanation ModorOrc

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