16th January 2014
Despite more than two days of significant effort by the Department of Conservation (DOC), Project Jonah volunteers and the local community caring for, re-floating and attempting to herd the remaining pilot whales back to deep water using boats and people in the water, the survivors of Tuesdays pilot whale stranding in Golden Bay having been joined by a 9th
whale, have again re-stranded overnight.
With a full moon last night causing a higher tide, rescuers this morning found the whales stranded much further up the beach making the prospect of a re-float considerably harder.
Unfavourable weather conditions in the form of high winds, which are forecast to get higher during the day, again working against those intent on a rescue.
The animals were this morning found to be stressed and in poor condition. DOC has therefore made the heart rending decision to euthanise rather than prolong their suffering any further.
Whilst this is a sad end to the rescue it is important to realise that these were the last of the 60 plus whales who initially got into difficulty on Tuesday. The majority of the animals survived. Whilst we would like to see every whale rescued and returned to the sea, despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes circumstances prevent this.
We thank everyone involved in the rescue for all of their considerable and valiant efforts over the past few days.