Virtually 100 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand

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© Reuters. Pilot whales are stranded on the beach in the Chatham Islands

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) – About 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins have died in a mass stranding in the remote Chatham Islands, about half a mile off New Zealand's east coast, officials said Wednesday.

Most of them were stranded over the weekend, but rescue efforts were hampered by the island's remote location.

The New Zealand Ministry of Nature Conservation (DOC) announced that a total of 97 pilot whales and three dolphins were stranded. You were informed of the incident on Sunday.

"At that point, only 26 of the whales were still alive, most of which looked very weak. They were euthanized due to the rough sea conditions and the almost certain certainty that there were great white sharks in the water, brought in by a stranding like this “Said DOC biodiversity ranger Jemma Welch.

Mass strandings are quite common in the Chatham Islands. In 1918 up to 1,000 animals died in a single stranding.

Bulky whale strandings have occurred throughout recorded modern history, and why this occurs is a question that has puzzled marine biologists for years.

At the end of September, several hundred whales died in shallow waters off the Australian coast in one of the largest mass whale strandings in the world.

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