The Department of Conservation of New Zealand has reported that nearly 145 pilot whales have been found dead in a mass stranding on Stewart Island beach. It is 30km off the New Zealand’s South Island.
Nearly half the mammals were already dead when found by the Conservation authorities and the rest were put down due to their poor condition. Ren Leppens, the DOC Rakiura Operations Manager has said, “ Sadly, the likelihood of being able to successfully re-float the remaining whales was extremely low and putting the whales to sleep was the most humane thing to do. However, it’s always a most heart-breaking decision to make”.
New Zealand has always witnessed the maximum number of whale strandings in the world. There is no known reason behind the same. Although the most common reasons are generally sickness, navigational error, geographical features, a chase by a predator or a fast falling tide can be the prime causes as reported by the Department of Conservation.
Last year, nearly 300 whales had died under similar conditions at the northwest of South Island.