15 pilot whales die in New Zealand mass stranding

Rescuers have managed to coax 33 pilot whales off a New Zealand beach where they were stranded and back out into deep water, but 15 of the pod died.

It’s the third mass whale stranding on the New Zealand coast this summer.

Department of Conservation community relations manager Grant Campbell says the pod of 48 pilot whales stranded overnight Saturday at Port Levy on South Island, but scores of volunteers joined workers to refloat them off the shallow, sandy and muddy inlet on the high tide.

Campbell said whales in the pod were up to five metres in length, while a few calves were between a metre and 1.5 metres.

 

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