[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Dozens of stranded whales die in New Zealand

Twelve died naturally and rangers euthanised 27 others after determining they were too far up the beach to be rescued.

Last updated: 06 Jan 2014 00:58
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Mass pilot whale strandings are common in New Zealand [File: AP]

A pod of 39 pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a remote New Zealand beach.

The whales, which were beached in Golden Bay on the country's South Island, died on Monday after being spotted near the shore a day earlier, conservation officials said.

It was unlikely they could be rescued.

John Mason, Golden Bay conservation services manager

Rangers had been monitoring the whales but were powerless to stop them from becoming beached, the Department of Conservation said.

Twelve of the whales died naturally and the rest were euthanised after rangers determined they were too far up the beach to be refloated.

"We carefully weighed up the likelihood of being able to refloat them and get them safely back out to sea," Golden Bay conservation services manager John Mason said.

"But our staff, who have extensive experience in dealing with mass whale strandings in Golden Bay, determined that due to various factors it was unlikely they could be rescued," he said.

Mass pilot whale strandings are common in New Zealand, but scientists are not clear on why the marine mammals swim ashore in large groups.

The 39 whales were first spotted in shallow waters off Abel Tasman National Park on Sunday afternoon, but the Department of Conservation said high winds prevented boats from being sent out to herd them out of danger, according to a report from Radio New Zealand.

249

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list