Last week, around 30 pilot whales died in New Zealand’s “death trap” following mass beaching in a region known for whale deaths.
A pod of around 30 whales was discovered washed up on the beach, stretching for over two kilometres.
Mammal strandings are common at the Farewell Spit beach in northern New Zealand’s South Island.
When the pod washed up, wildlife officials were contacted, and the Project Jonah Charity went to assist.
They sent out over a thousand volunteer messages, and many of them raced out to attempt to save the whales before it was too late.
According to the charity’s Facebook post, they were able to get five whales back into the water, but two of them washed up on land and had to be euthanized.
The whales who did not make it have been stranded on the shore, where they will disintegrate naturally.
The horrific beaching of these whales is nothing new on this beach.
In 2017, they saw the largest beaching in New Zealand in the last 100 years, where 400 pilot whales were stranded.
Pilot whales are unique in that they usually remain with their pod for their entire life. Some think that if one of the whales is stranded on shore, the rest will follow.
Although there is no determined cause for these mass standing, experts think that the whales become stranded here because of the shallow seabeds, which can interfere with the sonar navigation that these whales use to communicate.
When the sounds bounce on shallow seabeds, it can cause the whales to become confused.
Beachings have also been linked to seismic testing, which can cause confusion and disorientation amongst marine animals.
Sign this petition to stop seismic testing!
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 26 March 2022. Lead Image Source : Stephen Barnes/Shutterstock.
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