2 minute Read

Dozens of whales stranded off New Zealand's South Island

Dozens of whales stranded off New Zealand's South Island

Volunteers help to re-float stranded whales at Farewell Spit, South Island, New Zealand, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Courtesy of Project Jonah New Zealand/Social Media via REUTERS.

Wellington, February 23

More than a dozen pilot whales have died and many others remain stranded near a narrow sand spit at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island despite efforts to move them out to sea, authorities said on Tuesday.

After a mass stranding at Farewell Spit on Monday, the whales were walked out at high tide that night, only to be found at the remote beach again on Tuesday morning.

Some 28 were alive, while 15 were known to have died. Some of the stranded whales have started swimming away but others are milling around not far from shore, a spokeswoman for New Zealand's Department of Conservation said in a statement.

"At this stage, it's unclear whether the whales that are offshore from the Spit might re-strand in the outgoing tide or swim off. We should know in the next hour or so," she said.

Rescue workers were in the water trying to encourage the whales to swim off. About 50 people including volunteers from Project Jonah, an environmental organisation that specialises in the protection of marine mammals, researchers, government officials and the general public were at the spot trying to help re-float the whales.

Last year, nearly 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins died in a mass stranding on the remote Chatham Islands, about 800 km (497 miles) off New Zealand's east coast. Mass strandings are common in New Zealand, and have occurred throughout recorded modern history. Why it happens is a question that has puzzled marine biologists for years. Reuters

Top Stories

PNB scam case: UK judge orders Nirav Modi to be extradited to India

PNB scam case: UK judge orders Nirav Modi to be extradited to India

The UK extradition judge also ruled that Nirav Modi conspire...

Global money laundering watchdog keeps Pak on terrorism financing ‘grey list’

Global money laundering watchdog keeps Pak on terrorism financing ‘grey list’

‘Islamabad had made progress but was yet to complete its act...

Govt announces new guidelines to curb misuse of social media platforms

Govt announces new guidelines to curb misuse of social media platforms

Concerns have been raised about rampant abuse of social medi...

Axar 'straightens' England with 11/70

Axar 'straightens' England with 11/70

India win 3rd Test by 10 wickets, inch closer to World Test ...

COVID-19 vaccination: Registration of beneficiaries on Co-WIN for 2nd phase to start from Mar 1

COVID-19 vaccination: Registration of beneficiaries on Co-WIN for 2nd phase to start from Mar 1

The second phase of the vaccination drive will start from Mo...

Cities

View All