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Images Strike: On one of the beaches of the Saddam Islands, the bodies of lifeless dolphins are all, almost sideways, stranded. It is a small archipelago with an area of 1000 km2, with a very small population of 600 people, and is located in the southeast of New Zealand. It is very close to the imaginary line in the center of the Pacific, where time zones change by day. Because the area is so isolated, it took a few days to find the phenomenon: 96 of these pilot dolphins (pilot whales, according to their scientific name) were found dead. 28 had to be euthanized by emergency services. They could not survive.
Mori residents of the island held a tribute ceremony “The Soul of Animals”, Who will now be evicted from the beach. But the process takes a while: pilot dolphins are very large and often measure more than 6 meters in length. In addition, although it is the beginning of summer in this part of the world, the weather is capricious with ten degrees. For now, residents or visitors are prohibited from swimming or diving in nearby waters: these rotting corpses can attract white sharks, which are often an aggressive and dangerous creature to humans.
A similar event has already taken place in September 2020 in Tasmania, Australia. In all, 470 pilot dolphins were stranded in the Gulf of Macquarie in western Tasmania in just a few days. When help arrived they found the animals trapped on the sandy shores, unable to get out. Especially since Macquarie Bay is a kind of funnel, it’s hard to get out with the waves.
Pilot whales are not a dangerous creature and these strands are very common. Three years ago, similarly 400 dolphins died in New Zealand, with similar occurrences found in other countries, for example Japan or Mauritius. Mori residents living in the Saddam Islands say the frequency is increasing in the New Zealand press.
Not sure about the reasons for this phenomenon, only Hypotheses : Disease of one or more dolphins, group instinct, distraction due to strong waves or military sonar … or global warming will pull others. Many scientists say the rising water temperature has forced dolphins to search for food near the beach. They are at risk of getting stuck in areas with very low water, near beaches. This last hypothesis may explain the increase in the frequency of homicide events.
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