July 25, 2021

Almost 100 pilot whales die in New Zealand stranding

Almost 100 pilot whales have died in a mass stranding on New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands, conservation officials said on Wednesday.

Most of the marine mammals beached themselves over the weekend but rescue efforts were hampered by the area’s isolated location, about 800 kilometres (500 miles) east of the South Island, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said.

Department biodiversity ranger Jemma Welch said 69 whales had already died by the time wildlife officers reached the beach.

She said 28 pilot whales, including two that beached on Monday after the initial stranding, and three dolphins were euthanised.

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