One hundred and ninety-eight pilot whales have been stranded on a 6-kilometer beach in New Zealand, and their only hope is a rescue effort with the rising tide, local conservation officials reported.
Farewell Spit of the Golden Bay, on New Zealand’s South Island, is a renowned trap for marine mammals, with at least eight strandings in the past decade, and over 50 whales found there near their death bed on Friday, while nearly 200 got trapped in shallow water, Radio New Zealand reported.
“Re-floating stranded whales is a difficult and potentially dangerous job, so it’s important we have the right people on the ground tonight trying to get these whales back to safety,” the Department of Conservation’s (DoC) manager Andrew Lamason said in a statement. “Community group Project Jonah has 140 volunteers in the Golden Bay area who are trained to do this and we’re working alongside them.”
“They're in reasonable condition most of them, their skin is looking pretty good, and there's not that many have died, relatively,” DoC spokesperson Mike Ogle said, as cited by local media.