Two hundred stranded whales managed to swim free. In New Zealand, whale lovers were happy to know they could help so many whales, saving their lives after assisting them to refloat and swim away from the shore. What is more, volunteers also managed to save 17 whales at high tide.
- On February 10, hundred of whales were stranded along Farewell Spit, New Zealand.
- Many volunteers came to help them refloat and swim free.
- Unfortunately, 350 whales did not survive.
In recent days, more than 650 pilot whales were stranded along Farewell Spit, situated at the tip of the South Island. They came into two different mass strandings. Unfortunately, approximately 350 whales did not survive, also counting twenty whales which needed to be euthanized. About a hundred whales were helped by volunteers and managed to swim free, while two more hundred were able to swim unassisted.
Hundreds of locals, from tourists to farmers, spent several days on the South Island desperately trying to save the whales, dousing them with buckets of water while trying to refloat them. Herb Christophers, a spokesman for the Department of Conservation, stated that people seem to be very attached to marine animals. Locals have treated them as if they were children. They gave them names, singing to them, basically treating them as kindred spirits.
Chirstophers claimed that he speaks on behalf of everyone when saying that they hope the strandings are over. Nevertheless, he did not negate the possibility of some whales returning here and stranding themselves again. The first group of whales was discovered on February 10, revealing that most of them were already dead.
Cheree Morrison, an editor who first saw the whales, noted that the picture was terrifying. No one could contain their tears when hearing those poor whales splashing and sighing. On Saturday, February 11, locals managed to refloat the whales which survived. However, a few hours later, a new mass stranding occurred.
Andrew Lamason, a spokesman for the Department of Conservation, claimed that it was for sure a different pod of whales because they had tagged the ones from the first stranding group. In recent days, locals have decided to build human chains in the water to prohibit the marine mammals to reach the shore.
Nevertheless, volunteers were informed that they need to be extremely careful since one of the whales presented shark bites on its body. In the next few days, officials are bound to dispose of hundreds of carcasses.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia