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The holiday weekend was not a great weekend for whales in New Zealand. Over 145 pilot whales were stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand. By chance, a hiker discovered the whales on the remote Mason Bay.
It was too late for most of the whales. Approximately half of the whales were already dead when the hiker discovered them. Unfortunately, the New Zealand Department of Conservation were forced to euthanize the remainder of the whales. It was a very difficult decision, but ultimately it was just too late to save the whales. It is unclear how long they were beached, but most were in critical condition.
The operations manager of the department, Ren Leppens, had this to say about the decision, “Sadly, the likelihood of being able to successfully re-float the remaining whales was extremely low. The remote location, lack of nearby personnel and the whales’ deteriorating condition meant the most humane thing to do was euthanize.”
More whales were stranded on the coast of New Zealand that weekend. In separate events, 10 pygmy killer whales died and two sperm whales died. It is unclear why the island nation has so many whales wash ashore, but it could be related to the proximity to the southern latitudes.
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