WELLINGTON • More than a dozen whales have died in New Zealand after becoming stranded on the country's North Island, the Department of Conservation said yesterday.
Rescuers and volunteers had worked all of last Saturday to refloat about 25 of the animals, part of a pod of about 40 to 50 pilot whales which got stranded earlier that day on a beach in the Coromandel Peninsula.
Five dead pilot whales were discovered late on Saturday night at a site thought to be the original stranding location, the department said.
"Although the high tide at about 9pm on Saturday night had allowed the stranded whales to be refloated, members of the pod restranded this morning - including several on rocky outcrops at the bay," the department said in a statement on its Facebook account.
"Sadly, about a dozen have died after restranding on the rocks this morning. However, we are encouraged by the fact the majority of the stranded whales have rejoined the pod this morning and have been chaperoned out to deep water."