Rescuers had been racing Monday to save lots of dozens of pilot whales that beached on a stretch of New Zealand coast infamous for mass strandings, wildlife officers mentioned.
The Division of Conservation (DOC) mentioned the pod of 49 long-finned pilot whales was discovered early Monday at Farewell Spit, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of the South Island vacationer city of Nelson.
By mid-afternoon, 9 of the whales had died and greater than 60 folks had been working to maintain the survivors alive for an try to refloat them at excessive tide, the DOC mentioned.
“Marine mammal medics will help with refloating the whales and caring for them on the seashore, protecting them cool and moist till they are often refloated,” a DOC spokeswoman mentioned.
Farewell Spit is a 26-kilometre hook of sand that protrudes into the ocean at Golden Bay.
It has been the scene of a minimum of 10 pilot whale strandings prior to now 15 years, the newest in February 2017, when virtually 700 of the marine mammals beached, leading to 250 deaths.
Scientists are unclear as to why the seashore is so lethal, though one principle is that the spit creates a shallow seabed within the bay that interferes with the whales’ sonar navigation programs.