New Zealand: Mass Stranding Of 70 Pilot Whales In Nelson’s Golden Bay – Is Another Big Earthquake Coming?

TVNZ News has changed the article. Maybe they do not want you to remember this:

107 pilot whales beached in Stewart Island, New Zealand , one day before the February 22, 2011 earthquake (M.6.3).

(Source: EX-SKF)


Whales stranded in Golden Bay (3 News, Jan. 7, 2012):

A rescue of about 70 long-finned pilot whales stranded in Nelson’s Golden Bay is under way today.

Whale rescue group Project Jonah has put an alert out on its Facebook page. It is asking volunteers to go to Triangle Flat at the start of Farewell Spit.

“We’ve had a good response to our call out so far but we still need more trained medics to attend,” Project Jonah says.

TVNZ reported that the mass stranding last night followed the refloating of a single stranded whale.

Farewell Spit, at the top of the South Island, is an area of past whale strandings.

70 Pilot Whales Beached in Nelson, New Zealand (EX-SKF):

From TVNZ (1/7/2012):

Eighteen of the 25 long-finned pilot whales stranded in Nelson last night have been successfully refloated.

Project Jonah marine mammal medics, Department of Conservation staff and members of the public put the whales back into the water on high tide around 9am.

However, the situation will be monitored to ensure no more whales restrand themselves.

Project Jonah CEO Kimberly Muncaster said whales in a disorientated state can easily restrand.

“The ones that have been refloated are not out of the woods yet, either,” said Muncaster. “In their disoriented state they can easily restrand, so Project Jonah medics in the area and locals should remain on high alert for the next few days and keep informed through the Project Jonah website.”

The mass stranding of about 70 whales last night followed the refloating of a single stranded whale yesterday.

Despite the efforts of those helping, seven whales died.

Locals can also help by checking their beaches and bays regularly over the next week. Both the refloated whales and the remaining members of their pod may still be in the bay and are at risk of stranding. Any beached whales should be reported to the Department of Conservation as soon as possible to give them the best chance of survival.

TVNZ News has changed the article to this:

Refloated whales being closely watched (TVNZ News, Jan. 7, 2012):

Eighteen long-finned pilot whales were successfully refloated today, although are being carefully watched in case they beach again.

The survivors of a pod of 25 whales were re-floated this morning at high tide after beaching in Nelson yesterday afternoon.

Seven died overnight.

The whales were cared for overnight by Project Jonah marine mammal medics, Department of Conservation staff and locals.

Project Jonah CEO Kimberly Muncaster said the whales are “milling” around very close to shore, which is worrying.

“They are not heading back to the open ocean as we had hoped, and with low tide approaching this is cause for concern.”

Department of Conservation staff and Project Jonah volunteers are monitoring the whales’ movements and are preparing to take action if they beach again.

“At this point no further assistance is needed from volunteers, but people wanting to help in the event of a restranding should keep an eye on the Project Jonah website and Facebook page,” Muncaster said.

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