More than 400 whales die in New Zealand beach – Pictures
Many whales stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand’s South Island have died. Rescuers are working to refloat more than hundred more at the moment.
Whale rescue organisation Project Jonah said in a Facebook post that there were 416 pilot whales stranded on Farewell Spit, and that 75 per cent had died overnight.
‘Efforts this morning will be focused on refloating the remaining live whales at high tide,’ the organisation wrote on Friday.
This latest stranding has been reported as the biggest whale stranding in New Zealand in recent times.
In February 2015, almost 200 pilot whales became stranded in the same area, New Zealand’s most notorious ‘whale trap’. About 60 were successfully refloated.
The largest mass stranding on record dates back to 1918, when 1,000 pilot whales stranded on New Zealand’s Chatham Islands.
The pilot whale is New Zealand’s most frequently stranded whale, as they travel in large groups.
There is no simple answer as to why whales get stranded but it was believed it could be a combination of anything from disease to extreme weather, the whale organisation writes.