World New Zealand: the pilot dolphins re-launched but not yet saved

18:17  23 february  2021
18:17  23 february  2021 Source:   leparisien.fr

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They are still in danger. While New Zealand rescuers were able to resuscitate pilot dolphins trapped on coastline on Tuesday, the mammals remained close to shore, threatening to run aground again, authorities said. The Department of Conservation (DOC) said the mammals were part of a school of about 50 pilot whales found stranded Monday at Farewell Spit, a sandy tongue 90 kilometers north of the tourist town of Nelson, located in the extreme north of the South Island.

Mass pilot whale stranding at Farewell Spit in New Zealand ???? with @ProjectJonah working hard to refloat these powerful creatures https://t.co/ylz4F0s4O2 pic.twitter.com/8bcKPtssKJ

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- Liz Carlson (@YoungAdventures) February 23, 2021

Quarantines have been handed over to water Monday night before beaching again Tuesday morning. About 60 volunteers helped put the 28 mammals back in the water. "The whales are close to shore and it is not certain whether they will swim to shore or run aground again," a DOC spokeswoman said. Volunteers and ministry employees remain on site, ready to intervene if necessary, she explained. Because at least 15 members of this group of mammals have died.

Disease, navigation error, predators or human activity?

Farewell Spit is a 26-kilometer-long spit of sand that juts out into Golden Bay. It has witnessed a dozen cases of pilot whale group strandings over the past 15 years. As of February 2017, nearly 700 of these mammals had stranded at Farewell Spit, including 250 that had perished. There is no definite scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

Hypotheses relate to illness, navigation errors, the presence of predators, extreme weather conditions or problems related to the topography of certain places. But others blame human activity, including disturbance generated by high frequency sonar.

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This is interesting!