500 pilot dolphins die off New Zealand

500 pilot dolphins are dying off New Zealand

The New Zealand government announced on Tuesday that two “big schools” attacked by sharks had washed ashore and the survivors had been mercifully killed.





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About 500 pilot dolphins have died in recent days in the remote Chatham archipelago off the coast of New Zealand. (Illustrative image)
© Thierry Creux / MAXPPP / PHOTOPQR / WEST FRANCE / MAXPPP

YuAnimal drama in the open sea. About 500 experimental dolphins have died in New Zealand’s remote Chatham archipelago, the government announced Tuesday, October 11, which has not carried out a rescue operation. Sharks are common in the waters. The Department of Environmental Protection said “two large schools” of cetaceans washed ashore and the survivors were killed.

About 250 stranded experimental dolphins were found on Friday on Chatham Island, the largest of the archipelago’s islands, and about 240 dolphins on Pitt Island, three days later, according to the same source. The authorities said that due to the distance between this archipelago and New Zealand, which is about 800 km, a rescue operation was impossible. “Fearing a shark attack on humans and cetaceans, the surviving pilot dolphins were euthanized by our team in order to spare them further suffering,” technical advisor Dave Lundquist told AFP.

He added, “A decision like this is never taken lightly, but in such cases it is the easiest option.” The bodies will be left at the site. Such strands are no stranger to the Chatham archipelago, with the largest dating back to 1918, when a thousand pilot dolphins perished. Just over two weeks ago, about 200 pilot dolphins perished on a beach in Tasmania, Australia. Forty-four mammals were released.

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300 pilot dolphins are stranded each year in the country

The causes of these major leads are not fully known. These pilot whales, which can reach up to six meters in length, can duck right behind a sick member of the herd. Bad weather or the presence of predators can also force them to change their route.

According to official figures, about 300 experimental dolphins are stranded in New Zealand each year. It is not uncommon for individual strandings to include groups of 20 to 50 cetaceans, or even hundreds when a large group of mammals is involved.


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