About 500 pilot dolphins have died stranded in New Zealand

About 500 pilot dolphins have died stranded in New Zealand

About 500 pilot dolphins have died in New Zealand’s remote Chatham archipelago, the government announced Tuesday, which has not carried out a rescue operation due to the remoteness of the islands, where sharks infest the waters.

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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, our team killed the surviving pilot dolphins to spare them further suffering,” Dave Lundquist, technical advisor to the marine government, 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. 44 mammals were released.

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.

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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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