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At least 13 pilot whales beached on NZ coast, officials battling to prevent more

Published on Jan 14, 2014 9:48 AM

NELSON, New Zealand (AFP) - At least 13 pilot whales were beached on Tuesday on a remote New Zealand coastline and conservation officials were desperately battling to prevent another 50 from reaching the shore.

It is the second mass stranding in a week at the remote Farewell Spit, at the top of the South Island, which has become notorious as a whale graveyard.

Department of Conservation officials said they were alerted to the latest stranding late Tuesday morning and were using a boat to try to shepherd the whales still afloat out to sea.

Volunteers were protecting the stranded whales from the sun until an attempt to refloat them at the next high tide.

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