250 cetaceans die stranded in New Zealand

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250 cetaceans s die stranded in New Zealand

In New Zealand, about 300 animals are stranded every year according to government data. (Archives)

Some 250 pilot dolphins have died stranded on remote Chatham Island, New Zealand, where the risk of shark attacks makes rescue attempts difficult. water too dangerous, the government of the archipelago announced on Saturday.

Cetaceans were stranded in the northwest of the island on Friday, the Ministry of New Zealand Conservancy.

We do not release pilot dolphins due to the risk of shark attacks to humans and [cetaceans] themselves, he explained in a statement.

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The ministry added that a specialist team euthanized the surviving animals to spare them further suffering, in the presence of members of New Zealand's indigenous peoples and the ;Chatham Island.

All of the stranded pilot dolphins are now dead and their bodies will be left to decompose naturally on site, the Department of Conservation said.

According to it, such strandings are not unusual in the Chatham Islands archipelago, located to the east of the South Island – one of New Zealand's two largest islands. The ministry mentioned that the largest stranding among those recorded was observed in 1918, with 1000 cetaceans.

Just over two weeks ago, around 200 pilot dolphins perished on a beach in Tasmania, Australia; 44 of their congeners had been released.

The causes of these major strandings are not fully known.

Researchers have suggested that they could be caused by groups of cetaceans straying after feeding too close to shore.

These pilot whales – another name for pilot dolphins – which can measure up to six meters are very social animals. They sometimes follow members of their group who have wandered off and then find themselves in danger.

In New Zealand, around 300 animals are stranded each year, according to data official.

It is not uncommon for groups of 20 to 50 cetaceans to beach themselves at once, or even hundreds when a large group of mammals is involved, as in 2017, when 700 pilot dolphins washed up together on the New Zealand coast.

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