Stranded whales euthanised
Thu, 15 Nov 2012 1:06p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The 16 survivors of a pod of 28 pilot whales stranded on Farewell Spit have been euthanised this afternoon.
Department of Conservation workers met with local iwi and Project Jonah about whether a rescue operation was possible for the survivors but decided to put the animals down.
The tide is on the way out so the next chance to refloat the pod would have been high tide just after midnight tonight.
One of the complicating factors is that they stranded on a very high spring tide.
The tides tonight and tomorrow are predicted to be not quite as high as this morning's tide when they stranded.
The whales are on a stretch of Farewell Spit around two kilometres north-east from the Spit Cafe.
Farewell Spit is the most notorious whale-stranding spot in New Zealand. Its slowly rising seabed and the hook of the spit commonly trap whales.
Pilot whales aren't actually whales - they're sometimes called blackfish and are members of the dolphin family, like orcas which are larger and often referred to as killer whales.
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16/11/2012 11:04:38 p.m.
Linda Robinson wrote:
Very disappointed that DOC decided in such a short amount of time to euthanize. Project Jonah and volunteers were there to help, WHY didn't they at least TRY!
16/11/2012 10:00:25 a.m.
Kirsten Massebeau wrote:
I believe this was the wrong choice. Many marine mammal medics have come forward and said they would have jumped at the chance to help. A truly poor decision was made here at the expense of these highly intelligent beings.
15/11/2012 6:00:46 p.m.
Kerry O'Brien wrote:
I really do not understand. This article reads that it was all too hard. We have rescued whales in extremely difficult situations in NZ before and we at least tried! I am very disappointed in DOCs decision and I hope we get to hear why?
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