The horrifying event of whales beaching themselves on a remote beach in New Zealand has resurfaced again as 240 more whales arrived on Thursday.
Early today, many volunteers had successfully refloated near 100 of the more than 400 pilot whales which were stranded on the beach Thursday.
Volunteers created a “human chain” by connected arms in neck-deep water levels, and unfortunately still were unable to prevent a new pod from reaching the beach.
This year’s whale stranding at the Farwell Spit at the head of South Island is probably the worst that New Zealand has experienced. Thankfully, dozens of people came out to help.
It’s estimated that over 300 of the 400 original whales died while medics and volunteers attempted to keep them alive by cooling them with water.
On-site members are hoping that the new arrivals who survived can be put back to sea during the next high tide in daylight tomorrow on Sunday.
It is currently unknown why these whales continue to lodge themselves on the nearly three-mile-long beach near Golden Bay.
One theory is that the whales are driven onto the beaches due to sharks, considering that bite marks were discovered on one of the dead whales.
Herb Christophers of New Zealand’s Department of Conservation reported that the whales were attempting to get around the head of South Island, but they made an error in their navigation and headed towards the beach.
He explained that a whale’s echolocation could be impaired when swimming in shallow waters.
“It’s a very difficult place if you get lost in there, and you are a whale,” he said.
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