New Zealand authorities to move 300 whale carcasses
Wellington, Feb 13 (IANS) New Zealand authorities on Monday said they will move the carcasses of 300 pilot whales that died in a mass stranding on a remote beach.
The whales will be moved with a digger and buried in the sand dunes further up Farewell Spit, South Island, the BBC reported.
Conservation workers pierced the bodies to release gas built up during decomposition, following warnings the carcasses might explode.
“It has been decided it is more suitable to take the dead whales out of the area that is open for public walking access,” New Zealand’s department of conservation said on its website.
On February 9, more than 400 whales arrived on the 5 km-long stretch next to Golden Bay, in one of the worst beaching incidents in New Zealand’s history.
Most of the them died, while about 150 were successfully floated back out to the sea by conservations officials and volunteers.
New Zealand has one of the highest stranding rates in the world. About 300 dolphins and whales end up on beaches in the country every year, according to Project Jonah.
Many of these incidents happen at Farewell Spit.
In February 2015 about 200 whales beached themselves at the same location, of which at least half died.
The reason behind the stranding is not clear yet.