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article imageDozens of pilot whales strand and die on New Zealand beach

By Igor I. Solar     Jan 6, 2014 in Environment
Takaka - Thirty-nine pilot whales died after becoming stranded on a beach at Golden Bay on the South Island of New Zealand, reports the New Zealand Ministry of Conservation. Many of the mammals could not be saved and were euthanized to prevent further suffering.
The pilot whales (Globicephala sps) were stranded at high tide on Sunday, about 5 miles from the base of Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, near Takaka, NZ. Efforts to save the whales became increasingly complicated with the fall of the tide and the strength of the winds.
By Monday, 12 whales had died and experts of the NZ Conservation Service at Golden Bay decided to sacrifice the rest of the mammals to avoid prolonging their suffering, according to the agency in a press release.
“We carefully weighed up the likelihood of being able to re-float them and get them safely back out to sea. But our staff, who has extensive experience in dealing with mass whale strandings in Golden Bay, determined that due to various factors it was unlikely they could be rescued.
The whales stranded about 5 km from the base of Farewell Spit. They have come very high onto the beach in a big tide. The big tides are now reducing, coming in further out from shore, so it would be difficult to get the large animals into deep enough water to re-float them.
Twelve of the whales have died and rather than prolong the suffering of the remaining 27 whales we decided to humanely euthanize them.”
This is not the first time such incident takes place at Farewell Spit. In November 2012, 28 whales died after being stranded on the beach and in January of that year, 80 pilot whales perished after a group of 99 stranded on the beach.
More about Pilot whale, New Zealand, mass stranding, golden bay
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