Monday, February 13, 2017

Whales stranded, New Zealand

Image result for beached whales, new zealand pictures
Hundreds of beached whales died.
Remember us disposing of 2 whales?
The Becker, 2/11/17.  "New Zeland just experienced its largest whale stranding in decades. The cause is still a mystery."

Image result for beached whales, new zealand pictures
Volunteers help hydrate and save whales.
More than 600 pilot whales have washed ashore New Zealand’s South Island over the past two days. Officials and volunteers are working to return the ones that are still alive back to sea, but many have already died or were euthanized because of their injuries.

On the morning of February 10th, more than 400 pilot whales were discovered on a crescent of land on New Zealand’s South Island called Farewell Spit, according to a Department of Conservation news release. Close to 300 of them had already died.

Volunteers with whale-rescue organization Project Jonah and DoC officials managed to send 100 or so whales back to sea on February 11th, only to have 20 wash ashore again. The remaining 80 joined another nearby pod, and appeared to be safe. However, that second pod then stranded itself on Farewell Spit that evening. The New Zealand Department of Conservation sent out a call for more volunteers, warning that it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to rescue all of the beached whales.  Read article.

Human chain directing whales back to sea.
Image result for Farewell spit New Zealand mapRelated articles. NPR International/Colin Dwyer, 2/11/17, NPR International/Colin Dwyer, 2/11/17. "...  By mid-afternoon local time, most of those whales — the survivors of country's third-largest stranding on record — had successfully swum back into Golden Bay. It could have been a happy ending to a story that began tragically, with some 300 whales found dead after more than 400 stranded earlier in the week on Farewell Spit, a thin strip of beach that arcs like a bent finger into the waters north of New Zealand's South Island. ...  Another large pod, composed of approximately 200 whales, stranded just hours later near the original site. The members of that second group appear to be different from the original survivors, which had been tagged before being refloated. None of the new whales bore those tags, NBC News reports. The new whale pod, BBC News/Asia, 2/12/17, "New Zealand whales: Hundreds refloat on high tide at Farewell Spit." 'The 240-odd whales that had stranded between Puponga and Pakawau late on Saturday have mostly refloated themselves on last night's high tide and are milling around in shallow water,' conservation spokesman Herb Christophers said."  Series of updates, Live Science/Jeanna Bryner, Managing Editor, 2/12/17, "Mass Stranding: Hundreds of Pilot Whales Returned to the Water." Earlier article and more detailed map. DOGO News/Meera Dolasla, 1/25/12, "New Zealand's struggle to save beached whales ends with mixed  results."

Note photographs and map graphic.  Left:  Volunteers helping by Anthony Phelps/Reuters from CBC News/World/Thomson Reuters, 2/12/17, "Hundreds of whales in 2nd New Zealand stranding able to swim free.". Right: Beached whales 6 of 21 slides from SEOlium blog, image gallery: New zealand beached whales. Map from AFP/, 1/16/14,"Stranded whales to be euthanised in New Zeland," Note map graphic caption: "Map showing Farewell Spit in New Zeland, notorious for mass pilot whale strandings.See more, The Sun, UK/Patrick Knox, 2/12/17, "Mercy Mission: New Zeland stranded whale rescuers..." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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