New Zealand: Twenty stranded whales found dead

New Zealand: Twenty stranded whales found dead

According to the Environmental Department, 34 pilot whales, members of the dolphin family, were found stranded Thursday in Farewell Spit, a remote area of ​​the South Island, of which 29 have already died.

Rangers took care of the five survivors, but “the cetaceans spent some time out of the water,” service spokesperson Dave Winterburn said.

“While this event is unfortunate, whale stranding is a normal occurrence,” he added. “We do not know the cause of this delinquency.”

The Farewell Spit, a 26-kilometer strip of coastline that forms a hook in the sea, has been the scene of dozens of series of pilot whales, also called pilot dolphins, over the past 15 years.

The largest event occurred in February 2017, with more than 700 mammals trapped, of which 250 died.

Scientists struggle to agree on the reasons why this beach is so deadly.

One theory is that the point creates a shallow sea floor in the bay which interferes with cetaceans’ sonar navigation systems.

Pilot dolphins, the most common cetacean in New Zealand waters that can reach up to six meters in length, are particularly vulnerable to the collective wall.

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