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Pod of 107 pilot whales have died stranded on south New Zealand island

Monday, February 21st 2011 - 17:11 UTC
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Authorities had to kill 48; they will be left to decompose in the remote beach (Photo Reuters) Authorities had to kill 48; they will be left to decompose in the remote beach (Photo Reuters)

A pod of 107 pilot whales stranded on New Zealand’s south island have died, including 48 killed by authorities, reports said Monday.

According to the NZ Department of Conservation, two tourists reported the pod near the southern tip of the south island Sunday, with staff responding by immediately flying to the area. At the time it is believed half of the animals were still alive.

‘‘We were quickly aware that it would be at least 10 to 12 hours before we could attempt to re-float them and that given the hot, dry conditions many more would soon perish,’’ Brent Beaven, the biodiversity program manager, said.

With a storm warning issued for the area, officials deemed the conditions too dangerous to attempt to re-float the surviving whales and 48 were killed.

All the bodies are being left to decompose naturally along the remote beach.

Pilot whales are the most common species to be stranded along New Zealand shores. A pod of 82 stranded on the south island earlier this month. Ten of them died.

Categories: Environment, International.

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    It is tragic that so many whales died. What a profound moment to be confronted with the simple fact that one is there to do something (help) and there is no solution at hand. That all the creatures you see before you will succumb before you can do anything positive about it.

    I really feel for the individuals that had to deal with this issue.

    I have a question, though. When were the first beachings occurring or has this been going on forever?

    Feb 22nd, 2011 - 04:31 pm 0
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