Wednesday October 12, 2022


New Zealand’s conservation office on Tuesday said all 240 pilot whales stranded on the remote Pitt Island have died, just days after 215 whales died on a beach on nearby Chatham Island.

Dave Lundquist, marine technical advisor at the Department of Conservation, in an email said a technical team on Monday had assessed the situation and euthanised the surviving whales.

“This decision is never taken lightly, but in cases like this it is the kindest option,” Lundquist said. The conservation department does not try to refloat whales in the area due to the risk of shark attack to both humans and whales, he said.

Daren Grover, general manager at charity Project Jonah, which deals with stranded whales, said there were also not enough people in the area to help with refloating.

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