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DOC whale stranding update

DOC whale stranding update

Some of the 40 pilot whales refloated off the base of Farewell Spit this morning have since re-stranded and Department of Conservation rangers and volunteers are working hard to prevent the rest of the pod beaching.

Thirty of the whales had begun swimming in deeper water towards Separation Point, at the top of Abel Tasman National Park, and DOC Takaka Conservation Services Manager John Mason said DOC staff had been cautiously optimistic they would remain safely at sea.

However, 10 of the whales had not gone with them and had remained swimming parallel to the coastline.

Early this afternoon all the whales turned towards Farewell Spit and began stranding about 3km up from the base of the Spit.

With the tide now going out DOC is concerned the whales that are still afloat could also strand. Rescuers are trying to keep those whales in the sea and move them out into deeper water.

There were 53 pilot whales found stranded at Triangle Flat at the base of Farewell Spit early this morning of which 13 had died. Rescuers refloated the remaining 40 around high tide at 11.45am.

ends

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