Volunteers in New Zealand try to rescue 40 stranded whales
Publish- February 22, 2021, 01:13 PM
AP/UNB - AP/UNB
Volunteers in New Zealand were trying to save 40 stranded whales Monday evening by refloating them on the high tide. Nine more whales had already died.
The pod of 49 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves on Farewell Spit, a remote beach on the South Island, the Department of Conservation reported.
The whales were first noticed by a tour operator on Monday morning, the department said.
About 65 conservation rangers and volunteers worked throughout the day to help the whales by keeping them cool and wet until the water was deep enough to refloat them. The nonprofit whale rescue group Project Jonah was helping coordinate efforts.
Farewell Spit, a sliver of sand that arches like a hook into the Tasman Sea, has been the site of previous mass strandings. Sometimes described as a whale trap, the spit’s long coastline and gently sloping beaches seem to make it difficult for whales to navigate away from once they get close.