Again it is the “death trap” Farewell Spit in New Zealand, where several pilot whales ran aground within one day. Volunteers formed a human chain to drive the whales into deeper water.
More than 20 pilot whales have been returned to deeper waters after a second stranding off New Zealand.
“The whales are currently swimming freely off the coast and are monitored by a boat from the nature conservation authority,” said the organization Project Jonah on Tuesday.
Project Jonah volunteers tried to pull the pilot whales back into the water on Monday Source: AFP / HANDOUT
Volunteers formed a human chain to drive the whales into deeper water.
On Monday, February 22nd, around 50 animals were stranded on the Farewell Spit headland. Many of them died, but about 28 survived the night.
Numerous helpers were on duty to cool the whales until the tide set in, as the broadcaster Radio New Zealand reported.
Why the marine mammals were stranded was still unclear. For the group it seemed to be the first time, the animals showed no abrasions, the station quoted the ranger Amanda Harvey
The scientists suspect that the animals have orientation problems as a reason for stranding or that animals want to come to the aid of their previously stranded conspecifics. Source: dpa / New Zealand Doc, Matt Nalder
Scientists are still trying to find out why such incidents are more common at Farewell Spit, it said.
In February 2017 alone, between 600 and 700 whales were stranded there, 250 of them died.
Whales are repeatedly stranded on the coasts of New Zealand.
Why marine mammals lose their bearings is unclear.
Presumably, they follow a stray or sick animal into shallow water. The animals may have responded to calls from their conspecifics who were stranded on Friday, as Daren Grover of the animal welfare group Project Jonah involved in the rescue said.
The largest mass stranding of pilot whales in New Zealand occurred in 1918 when a thousand mammals landed on the remote island of Chatham.
In 1985, 450 pilot whales stranded in Auckland.
At the Farewell Spit headland, which is around 150 kilometers west of the tourist town of Nelson, there have been at least nine mass strandings in the past ten years.
And I mean … Scientists don’t know, nor do we know why the animals were stranded.
We can only be happy about the survivors and would like to thank the people from the bottom of our hearts who have contributed with all their might to the rescue
My best regards to all, Venus