Saturday, 7 January 2012

Volunteers rescue pilot whales stranded 18 in New Zealand

Seven whales died on a beach in the South Island, while rescuers worked hard to lead the survivors out to sea. Saturday, January 7, 2012. WELLINGTON .- Seven pilot whales died and 18 were able to be saved by volunteers after vararan on a beach in the South Island of New Zealand, after rescue effort that lasted several hours. The mass stranding occurred on Friday at Farewell Spit, a town northwest of the island. The rescued whales were driven off the coast during high tide and during Saturday morning remained in deep water, according to environmental officials in that country. "They were pretty lethargic at the beginning," said John Mason, the local Department of Conservation, who says at one point he feared to return to running aground. Volunteers in boats tried to lead the whale out to sea and several people went to the water to encourage them to stay away from the beach, he said. "At the last moment, they began to swim out of danger," he said. Kimberly Muncaster, head of the whale rescue "Project Jonah" (Jonah Project) said several nearby beaches volunteers checked to see if there were other strandings. Strandings of whales are common off the coast of New Zealand during the summer. Since 1840, records show more than 5,000 acts of this kind, which may involve up to 450 marine mammals. In November last year, 47 pilot whales died and 18 had to be sacrificed after stranded on Farewell Spit. Scientists still can not explain with certainty why the whales are introduced and run aground in shallow water in groups.

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