Getting worse: 200 more whales stranded in New Zealand beach

  • 200 more whales have been stranded in a New Zealand beach
  • This comes after 400 became victims of mass stranding in the same beach
  • Rescuers aided the whales into the sea but more than 300 died and 200 remains stranded

Another pod of 200 whales were stranded in a New Zealand coastline after rescuers aided more than 400 whales that beached there a few days prior.

BBC said in a story published February 11 that 240 more whales arrived as the Farewell Spit in New Zealand making the total count of beached whales reach more than 650.

As of posting, there have been some 335 whales recorded as dead while 220 remain stranded. Better news is 100 whales are back at sea after volunteers aided them last Friday, following the mass stranding.

The public is trying to help the stranded whales by keeping them cool with water. Some were euthanized because they have a nil chance of surviving off the sea.

The rescuers, managed by the Department of Conservation, will try to re-float the whales back to the sea on Sunday. Last Friday’s re-beaching has been difficult for them because whales move in groups so they must follow a queen – the leader of the pod – for them to return back to their natural habitat.

What makes the whales stranded off the sea? Many theories arise on the matter.

ABC said in its story that the Farewell Spit is regarded as a “whale trap” because the long coastline and sloping beaches “make it difficult for whales to navigate away from once they get close.”

Another theory is that the echolocation of whales in shallow waters is affected so they find it hard to communicate with their pod.

Meanwhile, a Forbes article by Erick Mack, wrote that if the queen or the leader of the group is injured, this could affect how the whales navigate through the sea.

Source :

BBC, ABC, Forbes