200 more whales beached in New Zealand

FAREWELL SPIT (New Zealand) • Two hundred more whales were stranded on a New Zealand coastline yesterday, frustrating rescuers who had battled through the day and even defied a shark threat to try and keep them at sea.

The crisis began on Friday when a pod of 416 whales became stranded on Farewell Spit in Golden Bay in the north-west of South Island. Most of them died but volunteers tried yesterday to help in the rescue of 100 survivors.

The whales were re-floated at high tide in the late morning but linked up with a so-called "super pod" of 200 whales gathered off shore. Rescuers waded into neck- deep water to form a human wall and guide the survivors out to sea while also preventing the other 200 from coming to shore.

"But in spite of best efforts... approximately 200 pilot whales that were free-swimming, have stranded," a Department of Conservation spokesman said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 12, 2017, with the headline '200 more whales beached in New Zealand'. Print Edition | Subscribe