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Stranded Whales Refloated In New Zealand Coast

NEW ZEALAND – 28 pilot whales who were stranded on a notorious stretch of New Zealand’s coast were recently refloated by rescuers.

NEW ZEALAND
Rescuers race to save dozens of pilot whales that beached on a stretch of New Zealand coast at Farewell Spit. Photograph: Project Jonah/AFP/Getty Images | Image from: The Guardian

The Department of Conservation said that the long-finned pilot whales were part of a pod of 50 that were found at Farewell Spit, which is about 90 kilometres north of the South Island tourist town of Nelson, according to Manila Bulletin.

About 40 were pushed out to sea on Monday but swam back ashore by the next morning, with 60 volunteers helping move the 28 whales back into the water.

“The whales have been close to shore and it’s uncertain whether they will swim off or possibly re-strand,”

“DOC rangers and volunteers remain on-site ready to respond if the whales start swimming for shore and become stranded again.”

Not more than 15 of the original pod have died. Farewell Spit is a 26-kilometre hook of sand which protrudes into the sea at Golden Bay.

It has been the place of about 10 pilot whale strandings in the past 15 years, with the most recent in February 2017, when almost 700 of the mammals beached, resulting in 250 deaths, based on the report.

Scientists are still unclear about why the beach is still deadly. Among the theory include one where that the spit creates a shallow seabed in the bay that interferes with the whales’ sonar navigation systems.

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