More whales are stranded at the top of the South Island
despite efforts by Department of Conservation staff and
volunteers to guide them into deeper water.
DOC said 50 pilot whales were now stranded at Farewell Spit
in Golden Bay. Forty of these whales were found beached this
While they were successfully refloated at around noon, they
had since restranded and have been joined by another 10
whales, DOC said.
"A further six whales are still in the sea."
Staff and Project Jonah volunteers would remain with the
whales until dark, using buckets of sea water to keep them as
comfortable as possible.
John Mason, DOC Takaka conservation services manager, said
the whales should come afloat in the midnight high tide.
He hoped they would find their way out to sea once they could
move, but said there was a real risk some or all of them
Today's beachings come days after eight whales were
euthanised after stranding themselves twice at Farewell Spit
on. A ninth whale, which had not been seen at the beach, also
had to be put down after it became stranded.
Last week 27 pilot whales had to be put down after becoming
beached at the spit. A further 12 had already died from
natural causes after being stranded.