Nearly 100 Whales and Dolphins Die After Mass Stranding Off New Zealand’s East Coast

Whales are seen stranded on the beach in Chatham Islands, New Zealand November 24, 2020 in this drone picture obtained from social media. Reuters

About 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins have died in a mass stranding on the remote Chatham Islands, about 800 km (497 miles) off New Zealand’s east coast, officials said on Wednesday.

Most of them were stranded during the weekend but rescue efforts have been hampered by the remote location of the island.

Mass strandings are reasonably common on the Chatham Islands with up to 1,000 animals dying in a single stranding in 1918.

Mass whale strandings have occurred throughout recorded modern history, and why it happens is a question that has puzzled marine biologists for years.

In late September, several hundred whales died in shallow waters off the Australian coast in one of the world’s biggest mass whale strandings.

SOURCE: Reuters