Breaking! Another 51 Pilot Whales Found Stranded In New Zealand; Research Is Being Conducted To Figure Out The Exact Reason For The Standings


Another heart-wrenching mass stranding left 51 more pilot whales dead at the southern end of Hanson Bay near Chatham Islands in New Zealand.

Tragically, this marks the second largest stranding of pilot whales in one week. As previously reported by WAN, 145 pilot whales were discovered last Monday on a remote beach in New Zealand’s far South Stewart Island. Sadly none survived.

While the Department of Conservation explained that it was notified of the latest stranding of up to 90 whales on Thursday evening, it had to wait until the following morning to address the situation in the light of day.

In what may be the only sliver of positive news from the tragic event, an estimated 30 to 40 pilot whales were able to be returned to the sea.

Tragically, the only one of the 51 remaining whales that was found alive ultimately had to be euthanized due to the severity of its condition.

“There was no likelihood of being able to successfully save the remaining whale. Sadly, the decision was made to euthanize. It was the most humane thing to do,” DOC Chatham Islands Operations Manager Dave Carlton said in a statement. “This is always an awful decision to have to make.”

DOC has notified local Morori IMIS and Ngatia Murunga IWI, and is working with locals to bury the whales on site.

Skin and blubber samples are being taken and will be sent to Massey University in an attempt to understand more about this species.

Marine mammal strandings are a relatively common occurrence on New Zealand’s shores.

Ten pygmy killer whales also stranded on 90-mile beach in Northland on Sunday.

Exactly why whales and dolphins strand is not fully known, but factors can include sickness, navigational error, geographical features, a rapidly falling tide, being chased by a predator, or extreme weather (climate change). More than one factor, sadly, may contribute to a stranding.

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