Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Happy Ending

Half a pod of 107 pilot whales died and the remaining whales euthanased, after stranding in hot dry conditions at the remote southern end of Mason Bay on Stewart Island on Saturday (19th.).
Dept of Conservation: "We didn't have a chance to save them."
Two overseas trampers discovered the pod of dead and dying whales on Saturday morning but had to hike for several hours before they could raise the alarm.
DOC staff immediately choppered in to the beach to assess the situation: about half of the whales were still alive when they arrived at the 10km-long beach, accessible only by air.
With just five people on-site and the tide on its way out, DOC saw no chance of keeping the animals alive until enough rescuers could be flown in to assist. To top things off, a storm warning for the area added to the dangers of attempting a refloat.
So the decision was made to euthanase the 48 remaining pilot whales.

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