416 pilot whales stranded (February 2017)


416 whales stranded at Farewell Spit near Nelson, with about 75 per cent dying before rescue efforts could start.
10th February 2017 New Zealand Herald photo by Tim Cuff

416 pilot whales stranded near the base of Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, New Zealand, of which 250 to 300 were already dead when the whales were discovered early in the morning on February 10th, 2017. (NZ Herald) The stranding is New Zealand’s third biggest on record. Attempts were undertaken to refloat the remaining whales at the morning high tide. However,  240 more whales arrived on Saturday February, 11th, 2017. “The 240-odd whales that had stranded between Puponga and Pakawau late on Saturday have mostly refloated themselves on last night’s high tide (…),” conservation spokesman Herb Christophers said according to BBC news.  Seventeen of those whales which remained stranded were refloated by rescuers and volunteers. “Whale strandings have been a common occurrence throughout history on Farewell Spit. On 15 November 2012, a pod of pilot whales stranded themselves on the spit, around two kilometres north-east from the Spit Cafe. Eleven were found dead on the first day. The spit has claimed around 680 Whales since records began. In January 2014 several whales stranded and re-stranded. This included a pod of 50 pilot whales, many of whom died from stress or needed to be euthanised despite several attempts to refloat them.In February 2015, pilot whales were found stranded on Farewell Spit.  (Wikipedia)


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