An estimated 100 whales have died after being trapped in the remote Chatham Islands off New Zealand’s coast.
The whale was found trapped on Sunday. Total, per New Zealand Department of Defense, 97 pilot whales and three dolphins died due to stranding.
According to a statement from the New Zealand Department of Defense, the remote nature of the islands – plus a power outage – delayed the prospect of rescuing marine life.
Until then, only 26 whales were alive by the time Rangers arrived at Waitingi West Beach, said Ranger Gemma Welch with the agency, in a statement.
Welch said in a statement that “most of them (appeared) were very weak, and were (incurable) because of the rough conditions of the ocean and the almost certainty there being white sharks in the water, which are brought in by this way.” .
The other two were found trapped the next morning, who were also preached the gospel.
Per project Joanna, A New Zealand-based advocacy group for whales and other marine mammals, the reasons why the whale strand is unclear – although age, injury or illness and a combination of errors in navigation may be to blame. Pilot whales are especially notorious for stranding.
Mass strands are common on the islands, according to the agency. In 1918, a thousand animals died on a single plague.
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