38 pilot whales dead after washing up on a beach in Westland, New Zealand
All 38 pilot whales stranded on a remote West Coast river mouth have now died.
It was initially believed 32 whales had washed up near Haast, in South Westland, but an aerial survey of the area revealed a further six whales on the beach.
Department of Conservation (DOC) spokeswoman Jose Watson said 38 whales had stranded in total – 33 on the south side of the Okuru River and five to the north.
Twelve were still alive on Thursday morning, but dangerous sea conditions meant an attempt to refloat them could not be made safely.
DOC operations manager Wayne Costello said the decision to euthanise all of the remaining whales was made in consultation with local iwi Makaawhio, whale rescue charity Project Jonah, and other whale stranding experts.
Courtesy of stuff.co.nz