21 Jan 2011

Whales die in Far North stranding

8:29 pm on 21 January 2011

Twenty-four pilot whales are dead following a stranding in the Far North.

The Department of Conservation says the whales were found in the Parengarenga Harbour on Friday morning.

DoC says the mammals were spread over 150 metres of rocks, mud and mangroves and appeared to have been there since Thursday.

Fourteen whales were already dead. DoC says the others had to be put down because they were in poor shape and the chances of successfully refloating them were remote.

More than 130 pilot whales have recently stranded in the Far North, with one pod beaching at Karikari Beach in August and another at Spirits Bay in September last year.