Nine stranded whales refloated but four put down in New Zealand

11:49, August 22, 2010      

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Thirteen pilot whales that survived a stranding in the New Zealand North Island's Far North region on Friday were refloated on Saturday but four had to be killed when they came inshore again.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) said the whales were released at Matai Bay at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday.

It said rescuers towed a female whale out of the bay ahead of the 12 other whales, in the hope that she would lead them away from shore.

DoC said most of the whales headed out to sea but four tried to strand themselves again or displayed erratic behaviour when swimming close to shore.

It said it was concerned the distressed whales would attract the other nine back to the bay, and decided to euthanise them.

Most of the 58 whales found at Karikari beach on Friday morning died.

Source: Xinhua


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