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The animals were stranded on a beach.
Some 145 pilot whales died after being stranded this weekend on a New Zealand island, officials said today.
The cetaceans were dragged to a lonely beach on Steward Island, the southernmost in New Zealand. According to the Department of Conservation (DOC), half of the whales had already died and the others had to be slaughtered.
The herd was discovered on Saturday night by a hiker who was in the area. At the beginning it was tried to return to the sea to the mammals that followed with life, although without success. Finally, the decision was made to sacrifice them.
The whale expert Ren Leppens of DOC spoke of a “decision that breaks the heart”. The corpses were scattered over the sand for several hundred meters.
Experts suspect that one of the leaders of the group was injured or fell ill, which caused him to lose his sense of direction and to be followed by all other animals. It is also likely that the whales ended up trapped in a stream or attacked by sharks.
Pilot whales can reach eight meters in length and up to three tons in weight. In New Zealand it is common for these animals to get lost and end up on the beaches. In February of last year more than 300 whales were found stranded.
Source: La Voz