New Zealand rangers, volunteers try to rescue 25 stranded whales

This content was published on October 17, 2020 - 06:12

(Reuters) - New Zealand rangers and volunteers were trying to rescue some 25 whales stranded on a beach on the country's North Island, the Department of Conservation said on Saturday.

A pod of around 40 whales was sighted swimming close to the shore in shallow muddy water early on Saturday before some of them got stranded, the department said in a statement on its Facebook account. The rest remained offshore, but in shallow waters.

Rangers and volunteers were onsite, it said. "We appreciate the public's concern but at this stage NO FURTHER HELP IS NEEDED."

The next high tide was expected Saturday evening.

The whales were stranded on a beach in the Coromandel Peninsula. Auckland, the country's biggest city, lies 55 km (34 miles) to the west, on the far shore of the Hauraki Gulf.

In late September, several hundred whales died in shallow waters off the Australian coast in one of the world's biggest mass whale strandings.

(Reporting in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by William Mallard)

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