Info:SIX WHALES DEAD IN NORTH OTAGO STRANDINGS

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 14 Feb 1995 13:57:08

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Date: Tue, 14 Feb 1995 13:50:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
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Date:         Tue, 14 Feb 1995 18:02:33 +1300
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Subject:      SIX WHALES DEAD IN NORTH OTAGO STRANDINGS
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14-Feb-95 11:18 am Regular  National
 
SIX WHALES DEAD IN NORTH OTAGO STRANDINGS
 
 
   Christchurch, Feb 14 - Six pilot whales are now dead in the North
Otago strandings, the Department of Conservation said today.
   Four of a pod of 20 whales which were floundering on a rock
platform near Oamaru died overnight.
   Fourteen other whales have probably gone out to sea, DOC's
Dunedin centre manager Chris Stewart said.
   Of the two beached whales alive at dawn, one died at 9am and the
other was refloated.
   Mr Stewart said that whale or another whale was found dead on
rocks just north of the Waianakarua River mouth just before 11am.
   The whales were reported in distress yesterday, floundering on a
rock platform near the river mouth, 30km south of Oamaru.
   Mr Stewart said it was the largest mass stranding in Otago since
an incident at Dunedin's Warrington beach in 1988.
   The whales were spotted ``thrashing around'' about 3pm yesterday,
but the stranding was not officially reported until 8pm when local
residents raised the alert.
   Mr Stewart said the whales were trapped on a rock platform and
some adjacent reefs and were believed to have come in on the high
tide.
   Waianakarua residents helped DOC staff in the unsuccessful
rescue.
   DOC staff were making coastal searches to check all the other
whales had gone out to sea.
 
 
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