90 whales stranded on New Zealand beach

January 23rd, 2012 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Jan 23 (IANS) A pod of about 90 pilot whales has grounded itself on a beach in New Zealand’s South Island in the latest of a series of whale strandings around the country this month, Xinhua reported Monday.

Conservation officials were hoping the whales could refloat themselves from the area in the Golden Bay during high tide.

However, it was too dangerous to try to help the animals refloat in the dark, manager of the conservation department of the Golden Bay area John Mason told the Fairfax NZ News.

They planned to keep the whales cool during the afternoon and to prevent them getting sunburned, he said.

If the whales remained on the beach overnight, they would try to refloat them at high tide Tuesday at around 11.15 a.m., he said.

The whales were in the same area where 25 cetaceans were stranded earlier this month, 18 of which were refloated.

Four Gray’s beaked whales, two lactating females and two juveniles died after being stranded on the Papamoa beach, on the east coast of the North Island over the weekend.

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