A total of 145 pilot whales were found stranded on New Zealand’s shoreline on Saturday, November 24th and all of the whales have now died. The whales consisted of two different pods, that became stranded on Stewart Island off the coast of New Zealand. The pods were discovered roughly 1 mile apart.
Authorities were first alerted to the mass stranding by a hiker Saturday evening and by then, half of the whales were already dead. The remaining animals were later euthanized, according to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC).
A Stewart Island operations manager for the DOC, Ren Leppens, said that the remote location and condition of the surviving whales made it impossible to save them. “Sadly, the likelihood of being able to successfully re-float the remaining whales was extremely low,” said Leppens. “The remote location, lack of nearby personnel and the whales’ deteriorating condition meant the most humane thing to do was to euthanize. However, it’s always a heart-breaking decision to make.”