Waitangi West Beach. 97 pilot whales and three dolphins have died in mass stranding on New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands. Conservation Officer in the Conservation Department Wednesday with. 69 animals were already dead when the helpers arrived – another 28 pilot whales and the three dolphins had to be euthanized because of their poor condition.
Gemma Welch, a ranger at the Department of Biodiversity, suspects: “Such strandings of pilot whales attract great white sharks.”
Shocking on the beach: mass deaths of dolphins and whales
About a hundred pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins are stranded on New Zealand’s Chatham Island. © Reuters
Hundreds of pilot whales were stranded in September
The Chatham Islands are located about 800 km east of the South Island of New Zealand. About a thousand whales have been stranded there since 1918. This is the largest mass stranding incident in the country’s history. Why the marine mammals lost their orientation and became stranded is unclear. Experts believe the animals may have been following a stray or sick animal into the shallow waters.
Pilot whales can be up to six meters long. They are the most common whale species found in New Zealand waters. Hundreds of pilot whales perished just in South Australia in September.
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