Stranded whales refloated - some restrand
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Posted October 18, 2020
After huge efforts by volunteers yesterday whales stranded at Colville Bay, North Coromandel were refloated at high tide last night.
Local DOC staff, members of the local iwi, Project Jonah volunteers, Waikato Regional Council harbourmaster, the local rural fire brigade and the local community worked throughout yesterday to make about 25 whales from the pod stranded on mudflats comfortable.
DoC said five dead pilot whales were discovered nearby late on Saturday night, at a site thought to be the original stranding location.
The two groups of pilot whales that stranded, one on the beach and one in shallow water, were shepherded together and guided off shore after being refloated.
Then overnight several whales split from the pod and stranded on a rocky headland. About a dozen of these whales died, according to DoC. Local iwi blessed the whales and they will be buried.
The remainder of the whales have been slowly heading towards deeper water and are estimated to be about 3 kms offshore.
DoC are cautiously optimistic, saying they will continue to closely monitor the pod. It is not uncommon for pilot whales to strand several times across a number of days.
Photo: Pilot whales - not the ones that stranded