Home > Mass Animal Deaths > New Zealand: 22 Beached Whales Die, 77 Remain Stranded

New Zealand: 22 Beached Whales Die, 77 Remain Stranded

By NAOMI ARNOLD and AAP – “Twenty-two pilot whales, from a pod of 99 that stranded in Golden Bay, have died and fears are mounting for the remaining 77.

Project Jonah chief executive Kimberly Muncaster said volunteers had tried desperately to save the whales, which became stranded just after midday.

‘It was very sad,’ she said.

‘But there was nothing more that we could have done.’

Volunteers had begun leaving the scene for the evening about 8.45pm on Monday for safety reasons.

Ms Muncaster said although there was only a small chance the remaining live whales would refloat at high tide about 11pm, she remained hopeful.

Volunteers had spent the afternoon trying to keep the whales cool and upright.

Project Jonah marine mammal medics have also been called to give the whales first aid.

Rescue efforts were due to resume at first light on Tuesday.

Project Jonah volunteer Jo Woods, of Motueka, said it was difficult to leave the whales to their fate this evening.

‘It’s hard to walk away. You get attached. My one had a big chunk behind his eye missing and every time we talked to him he’d would put his head up and shake it.’

She spent the day laying wet sheets on the whales to keep them cool and using sandbags to keep them upright. She trained as a volunteer after seeing a previous stranding on the Spit.

‘I realized I would have no idea what to do and I just want to be helpful rather than doing nothing,’ she said.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths
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