Over a dozen whales die after being stranded in New Zealand

Rescuers and volunteers in New Zealand worked all of last Saturday to refloat about 25 pilot whales, part of a pod of about 40 to 50 which got stranded. PHOTO: REUTERS
Rescuers and volunteers in New Zealand worked all of last Saturday to refloat about 25 pilot whales, part of a pod of about 40 to 50 which got stranded. PHOTO: REUTERS

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."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2020, with the headline 'Over a dozen whales die after being stranded in New Zealand'. Print Edition | Subscribe