Dozens of whales in stranding at Farewell Spit – Challenge Jonah

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2021-02-22 10:34:57

Greater than 40 long-finned pilot whales are stranded on a distant seashore on the high of the South Island.

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DOC says it appears as if the whales have by no means stranded earlier than as a result of they don’t bear any marks or abrasions.
Picture: Provided / Challenge Jonah

The Division of Conservation was first alerted to the mass stranding on the base of Farewell Spit in Golden Bay by a tour operator at 9.30 at this time.

A spokesperson stated 9 of the unique 49 whales had died.

Round 65 individuals have gathered on the web site to help.

DOC is aiming to refloat the whales as soon as the water is deep sufficient and rangers are on web site to help them.

DOC ranger Amanda Harvey advised Checkpoint that the incoming tide had reached many of the pod, though there have been considerations that one massive whale was not responding as a lot as they want.

Challenge Jonah is taking out a pontoon to attempt to encourage it to go to sea.

Harvey stated it regarded as if the whales had by no means stranded earlier than as a result of they didn’t bear any marks or abrasions they usually have been in superb situation.

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Picture: Provided / Challenge Jonah

She stated it has been a scorching day on the web site however DOC employees, Challenge Jonah members and different volunteers responded shortly and all through the day the whales had been stored as cool as doable.

Circumstances have been extraordinarily good for a refloat, she stated.

Some volunteers have now been relieved by others who will deal with “the moist part”.

“The concept is to group them [the whales] as a lot as doable collectively.”

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Challenge Jonah members at Farewell Spit.
Picture: Provided / Challenge Jonah

Harvey stated it was typically a feminine that took the lead.

“The concept is to get them collectively and allow them to resolve and take it from there.”

Boats and spotters will comply with them till it’s darkish.

Some volunteers would keep on the seashore in a single day as a result of it was doable they might strand once more within the early morning, Harvey stated.

Farewell Spit had been the frequent web site for whale strandings and scientists have been nonetheless attempting to work out why.

The final mass pilot whale stranding on Farewell Spit was in February 2017 when an estimated 600-700 whales have been beached.

About 250 died whereas the remaining have been refloated.

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