Up to 145 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand

Up to 145 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand

Up to 145 pilot whales died in a mass stranding on a remote control New Zealand island at the weekend, authorities said on Mon.

The Division of Conservation (DOC) said two pods of pilot whales were stranded on a beach on Stewart Island, 30 km (20 kilometers) south of New Zealand’s South Island.

Fifty percent of the whales were already dead if they were found by DOC officers, who all were notified on Saturday evening by a hiker camping in the region.

A decision was made to put all of those other whales down because of their poor condition and the remote control location, DOC Rakiura Procedures Supervisor Ren Leppens said.

“Sadly, the probability of having the ability to successfully refloat the rest of the whales was incredibly low,” said Leppens, who described it as the utmost humane move to make.

“However, it’s usually a heart-breaking decision to create,” he said.

New Zealand has among the world’s highest prices of whale strandings, although the complete cause for it isn’t known.

The DOC said it responds to typically 85 incidents a year, mostly for single animals.

Many factors could donate to such whale and dolphin strandings, including sickness, navigational error, geographical features, a rapidly dropping tide, being chased by a predator, or intense weather conditions, the DOC said.

10 pygmy killer whales were also stranded about Sunday at 90 Mile Beach in the western coast of the North Island. Two possess since died and efforts were being designed to refloat the rest.

The DOC said both events were unlikely to be related.

About 300 whales died on a beach at the northwest tip of South Island this past year in another of New Zealand’s largest documented mass whale strandings.

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