New Zealand rangers, volunteers try to rescue 25 stranded whales

A stranded whale seen last month near Strahan town in the Australian state of Tasmania. In New Zealand yesterday, around 40 whales were sighted swimming close to the shore in shallow muddy water before some became stranded.
A stranded whale seen last month near Strahan town in the Australian state of Tasmania. In New Zealand yesterday, around 40 whales were sighted swimming close to the shore in shallow muddy water before some became stranded. PHOTO: REUTERS

WELLINGTON • New Zealand rangers and volunteers were trying to rescue some 25 whales stranded on a beach on the country's North Island, the Department of Conservation said yesterday.

A pod of around 40 whales was sighted swimming close to the shore in shallow muddy water yesterday before some of them became stranded, the department said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The rest remained offshore, but in shallow waters. Rangers and volunteers were on site, it said.

"We appreciate the public's concern but at this stage NO FURTHER HELP IS NEEDED," it added.

The next high tide was expected yesterday evening.

The whales were stranded on a beach in the Coromandel Peninsula.

Auckland, the country's biggest city, lies 55km to the west, on the far shore of the Hauraki Gulf.

Pilot whales, which can grow to more than 6m long, are prolific stranders.

About 380 died in a mass stranding in Australia last month.

That was Australia's largest mass stranding, with around 470 pilot whales stuck in a remote harbour on Tasmania's rugged western seaboard, sparking a major effort to save the animals.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2020, with the headline 'NZ rangers, volunteers try to rescue 25 stranded whales'. Print Edition | Subscribe