About a hundred pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins have died after a mass beaching in the Chatham Islands, a remote area on the east coast of New Zealand. Assistance to the animals was hampered by a power outage and the location being difficult to reach.
Most of the dolphins washed up last weekend. Authorities were informed of the situation on Sunday. It then took almost three hours for help to arrive.
At the location it became clear that most of the animals had already died. Only 26 pilot whales were still alive, but they had already weakened considerably. Due to the rough seas at that time and the likely presence of sharks in the vicinity, it was decided to euthanize the dolphins.
A day later, another tea pilot whales were found, but they also appeared to have no chance of survival. These animals have also been euthanized. The authorities report that the cadavers remain on the beach, where they are broken down by nature.
The Chatham Islands are more often affected by mass strandings. According to The Guardian it concerns three hundred animals per year. Biologists have been trying to find out what the cause is for years, but there is still no clarity. In 1918, an estimated 1,000 animals died in one mass beach on the Chatham Islands.