At Least 24 Whales Dead In Devastating Gippsland Stranding

At Least 24 Whales Dead In Devastating Gippsland Stranding

More Than 140 Whales Die After Mass Stranding in New Zealand

A team of experts will do skin scraps and look for bumps or lumps on the whales to see if there is a pattern, she added. Sadly, two of the whales turned back to shore, one dying and the other having to be euthanised.

Helicopter footage released by the DoC showed the pristine beach littered with whale corpses, many of them recently born calves.

Most of the beached animals have died, according to authorities.

There is no clear reason why the pilot whales stranded themselves on the Victorian beach, incident controller Michael Turner said, but it is thought the humpback whale may have died in a separate incident and washed up on the same shore by coincidence.

The whales were in a miserable condition, and there were not enough resources to try and re-float what was left of the two pods, so it was made a decision to put them down, Leppens said.

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"Desperately we grabbed their tails and pushed and yelled, before we got hammered by them thrashing around".

Conservationists drove eight of the rare and enigmatic whales across New Zealand to give them a better chance of surviving after they became stranded on the remote, windswept shoreline. "It was useless - they were so big and heavy and the realization we could do nothing to save them was the worst feeling I've ever experienced".

"Walkers on this remote section of the Wilderness Coast will also be advised not to enter the water due to the increased likelihood of sharks in the area attracted by the dead whales", an environment department statement also reads.

Officials have not yet given up hope on one of those incidents, a stranding on Sunday that left 10 pygmy killer whales washed ashore near New Zealand's northernmost tip. Scientists believe strandings can be caused by a number of factors, such as the whales trying to escape predators, falling ill, or navigating incorrectly.

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