107 Pilot Whales Dead on New Zealand Beach

Monday, February 21, 2011 - 6:08pm

STEWART ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND— More than a hundred whales have died on a remote New Zealand Island.

All members of a pod of 107 pilot whales died after they were stranded on the beach near Cavalier Creek on Stewart Island off of the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island. Officials had to euthanize 48of the 107 whales.

The whales were found by hikers on Sunday.

Conservation department staff flew to the location where half of the group was already dead and others were dying.

The whales were too far up the beach where the tide was receding, resulting in a small chance of keeping the whales alive until more rescuers arrived to help.

Last month, 24 pilot whales died after stranding on the North Island.

Pilot whales are about 13 to 20 feet long and are the most common species of whale in New Zealand waters. Whale strandings are common in New Zealand.

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