NZ rescuers struggle to save beached whales

February 4, 2011 11:57


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WELLINGTON, New Zealand  — Rescuers struggled to save the survivors of a pod of 80 pilot whales that beached themselves in New Zealand.

Conservation Department spokesman Trish Grant said nine whales died Friday and more were expected to die overnight because unfavorable tides meant it would be morning before there was any chance of returning them to the sea.

About 30 whales beached themselves Friday at Golden Bay, near the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island. The group were among a larger pod, and rescuers turned away four whales but were unable stop more from stranding.

More than 100 rescuers, including tourists, attempted to keep the whales cool during the late afternoon and evening, but nine died on the beach.

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