The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency said on the 25th that nearly 100 pilot whales have collectively stranded on a rarely visited outlying island beach in the country. It was too late for staff to find that most of the whales have died.
Gemma Welch, an EPA biodiversity department official, said that on the 22nd, they learned that a large number of whales had collectively stranded in the Chatham Islands, 800 kilometers east of the South Island.
They arrived a few hours later and found that most of them were dead. Only 26 were still alive but extremely weak. Because of the harsh conditions in the sea and the predators such as great white sharks wandering, releasing these dying whales to the sea is equivalent to “shark mouth feeding”, so the staff euthanasia.
The EPA said that similar incidents in the Chatham Islands are “not uncommon”. Previous records show that up to 1,000 whales, dolphins and other animals died in a mass stranding there in 1918.
Causes of whale stranding include illness, evading predators, navigation errors, rapid ebb tide, terrain factors and extreme weather. About 470 albacore pilot whales ran aground in Port McCwary, Tasmania, southern Australia, in September this year. Less than 100 of them were saved.