The Department of Conservation reported on Monday that there were 49 whales stranded in the New Zealand Bay. Nine whales have died.
“Our staff responding to the stranding at Farewell Spit have confirmed that 9 of the stranded whales have died and 40 are still alive,” the department said.
Rescuer refloated the whales who were swimming about 80 meters offshore from the site at around 9:30 pm.
“Marine mammal medics will assist with refloating the whales and caring for them on the beach, keeping them cool and wet until they can be refloated,” DOC spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.
The DOC has about 65 volunteers assisting with the stranded whales currently, it “doesn’t need any more volunteers” as of this time.
In the past 15 years, there have been at least 10 pilot whale strandings and the recent was in February 2017, an estimate of 600-700 mammals beached and 250 died while the rest were refloated.