The department added that most of the whales had already died, but the rest could not be refloated and had to be euthanized to minimize their suffering. That operation was completed on Wednesday, he said.
“This is a sad event for the team and for the community,” said Dave Lundquist, a technical adviser for the conservation department, who said representatives of Chatham Island tribes attended “to support” the department’s efforts. “A lot of people have been “moved” by the horrific scenes, he said.
Some of them 200 whales died after being stranded on the west coast of Tasmania, an Australian island southeast of the mainland, just two weeks ago.
Efforts to rescue whales that did not die when they washed up on the Chatham Islands were hampered by the archipelago’s remote location and predators roaming the surrounding waters, the department said.
“We don’t actively release whales at Chatham Islands because of the risk of shark attacks on humans and the whales themselves, so euthanasia was the best option,” Lundquist said.
Experts don’t always know Why do whales wash ashore?, but it is a relatively common phenomenon that can also affect other marine animals such as dolphins. “Mass twist” included at least two animals, unless mother and calf are included. Pilot whales, in particular, are “prolific fish,” according to the Department of Conservation.
The largest mass stranding on record in the Chatham Islands involved about 1,000 whales and occurred more than 100 years ago, the department said.
The archipelago is extremely remote – it takes about two hours to fly from New Zealand’s capital Wellington to Chatham Islands Tuuta Airport – and “limited communications and difficult logistics” make working there difficult, the department added.
When beached whales are no longer dead or seriously injured, conservationists will sometimes try to “re-release” them. This involves keeping the whales cool and moist on land to stabilize them before transporting them back to the ocean using tarps or large floating platforms.
because Pilot whales are social mammals, their instinct is to stay with their pods; even if they hear the distress call of a beached whale, they may collectively lock themselves in to help an injured whale or beach even after being refloated.
“So even when some animals are successfully introduced into deeper water, it’s not uncommon for them to turn tail and go straight back,” said Karen Stockin, a marine biology researcher at Massey University in New Zealand. He told The Washington Post in 2020.
in September, 32 whales were released back into the water It remained there after that out of Port Macquarie in Tasmania. Island The Parks and Wildlife Service said a few of them were trapped again that night. He said he would work to “refloat and release the remaining live whales.”
“All captive pilot whales are now dead and their bodies will be allowed to decompose naturally,” Lundquist said Tuesday.
“These events are difficult, difficult situations,” said the Chatham Islands conservation department team statement. “Even though these are natural events, it’s still sad and difficult for those who help.”
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