Friday, January 14, 2011

Young Whale Successfully Refloated

NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) staff and volunteers yesterday managed to refloat a young Gray's Beaked whale, one of a pod of five that beached at Port Waikato (on the west coast of the North Island, sth.of the Manukau Harbour entrance) yesterday morning. The other four, all adults, died.
There was some concern over whether the juvenile was old enough to survive by itself - staff and volunteers remained in the area to help it if needed: the four dead whales were buried in dunes nearby.
Gray's Beaked whales can grow up to 5.7m/18.7ft. in length and have a distinctive long, slender beak. They regularly strand on NZ beaches (148 reported washed ashore since 1873), including a mass stranding of 28 in the 1800s, according to the Beaked Whale Resource website.
But Port Waikato is not an area known for whale strandings, so there's a question as to whether the animals were separated from a nearby pod...

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