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Over 400 Whales Die in Biggest Recent Stranding in New Zealand

Yesterday, over 400 whales washed up on a narrow sand spit in Golden Bay, New Zealand. Sadly, this isn’t the first time, either as “The Farewell Spit” is a known trap for the mammals (Feb 2016 saw 200 pilot whales stranded there). And this stranding is now the third largest in the recorded history of such events in New Zealand. The biggest stranding, in 1918, saw around a thousand sea creatures beached on the Chatham Islands.
The mammals were scattered all over the beach and hundreds of volunteers, led by the New Zealand Department of Conservation and armed with blankets, struggled to keep them wet so they could refloat them during a life-saving tide. However, by Thursday night, most of the whales died.

 

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From the article:

“About 30 medics have been dispatched to the site of the stranding to take care of the whales joining the efforts with volunteers in keeping them cool and comfortable and preventing the refloated whales from coming back ashore with impromptu “human chains.” The call for help, posted by Project Jonah of Facebook, has seen a tremendous response from locals, with a road leading to the beach being jammed with cars of helpers, the New Zealand Herald reports.”

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By Friday afternoon (local New Zealand time) many of the whales were spotted returning back to the beach, and some got caught in the sands again.

Our hearts are breaking for the loss of life.

Source: RT

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