At least 29 pilot whales have died after being trapped near the world’s longest natural sandy beach, Farewell Spit, northwest of New Zealand’s South Island, official sources said Friday.
Rescue teams’ efforts are focused on saving the five surviving whales and floating them back, the New Zealand Ministry of Defense points out on social media.
“The process can take a while and we may not know if it will be successful for several hours,” officials pointed out on Facebook, including the veterinarians of Project Zona, a security organization.
A group of 34 pilot whales were spotted last night at the 34-kilometer-long sandy shoreline Farewell Spit in the Golden Bay area and named for the frequencies caused by massive Cetacean strands.
The cause of the current problem is “unknown,” officials said today.
In February last year, a total of 49 pilot whales were stranded at Farewell Spit, 38 of which floated again, while the largest known Cetacean stranding event occurred in 2017 when 700 pilot whales were trapped and 250 became extinct.
Scientists have not yet been able to explain why pilot whales sometimes stray from their path and end up in shallow water, although the possibility of them getting lost, inspired by sound pollution or being diverted by the crew leader’s is being considered. (I)
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