416 whales beached in New Zealand
Scientists fail to explain this phenomenon. More than 400 pilot whales ran aground on a beach in New Zealand on Friday , the vast majority of them succumbing quickly as hundreds of volunteers tried desperately to rescue the survivors.
- Animals About 70% died before the arrival of wildlife services ...
- 500 volunteers on site
- The Perfect Trap
Animals About 70% died before the arrival of wildlife services ...
According to New Zealand's environmental protection services, it is the third largest collective whaling in the country, where such occurrences are relatively common.
Pilot whales, also known as pilot whales, estimated to number 416, ran aground on Farewell Spit beach in the Golden Bay area of the far north of the South Island, one of the two The main islands that make up New Zealand.
500 volunteers on site
Approximately 70% of them were already dead when the wildlife services arrived on this remote beach. Nearly 500 volunteers then busied themselves to push the survivors offshore.
But the chances of success seemed slim, said Andrew Lamason, regional director of environmental protection. By late afternoon, most of the more than 100 cetaceans that volunteers had managed to bail out during the high tide had returned to run aground.
There are so many corpses in the water that volunteers are having trouble taking the survivors back to sea, AFP Herb Christophers, spokesperson for these services, told AFP. "Dead whales float here and there and obstruct the path to the open sea".
"There is also a safety problem" and the volunteers have been asked to be wary of the movements of pilot whales in distress, he added. These animals can weigh up to two tons and measure up to six meters long.
The Perfect Trap
The volunteers will try again Saturday to bail out any survivors. In the past, whales that have repeatedly stranded, weakening each time, had to be euthanized.
The most severe beach encroachment recorded in New Zealand occurred in 1918, when one thousand whales arrived on Chatham Islands, followed by the stranding of 450 cetaceans in Auckland in 1985.
The beach of Farewell Spit is regularly the theater of strandings of pilot whales. Nine or more have occurred in the last ten years.
According to Andrew Lamason, if there is no clear scientific explanation for this behavior, the submarine geography of the site would be at stake.
"At Farewell Spit, there is a large amount of hook-shaped sand and the waters are shallow. Once the whales have entered it, it is very difficult for them to come out, "he said.
According to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), whale strandings can be explained by natural reasons - age or disease - or disturbances related to human activities such as environmental degradation, collisions with boats. | 20minutes