THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Fears of exploding whales as New Zealand clears carcasses

NEW ZEALAND: The grim task of clearing hundreds of washed-up whale carcasses was under way in New Zealand today (Feb 14), with the beach closed over fears the bodies will fill with gas and explode as they decompose.

animalsdeathenvironmentmarinepollution
By AFP

Tuesday 14 February 2017, 10:08AM


Volunteers pour water on pilot whales during a mass stranding at Farewell Spit, on Saturday (Feb 11). Photo: Marty Melville/AFP

Volunteers pour water on pilot whales during a mass stranding at Farewell Spit, on Saturday (Feb 11). Photo: Marty Melville/AFP

The sands at Farewell Spit where the nearly 700 pilot whales beached in one of the largest mass strandings ever in New Zealand were closed to the public after authorities declared the rotting bodies a health risk.

The Department of Conservation said the carcasses of more than 300 whales were being trucked to an inaccessible location where nature would be allowed to take its course.

Conservation spokesman Herb Christophers said dealing with so many dead pilot whales – each of which can be six metres long – was a logistical challenge.

“They’re being moved but they haven’t been cleared out yet, not by a long chalk,” he said.

“It’s going to be a few days’ work just getting them off the beach.”

Before the whales were moved, conservation workers in bio-hazard suits punctured the carcasses in an attempt to stop them ballooning up with gas then popping.

“I’ve seen exploding whales, it’s not a pretty sight,” said Christophers.

QSI International School Phuket

Departmental ranger Amanda Harvey said many of the dead no longer resembled whales.

“Unfortunately, when a whale heats up, a lot of pressure builds up in their body and the only option is for them to explode,” she told TVNZ.

In total, an estimated 666 whales were stranded in two pods on Friday (Feb 10) and Saturday (Feb 11) at Farewell Spit, on the northern tip of the South Island.

About three-quarters of the first pod of 416 died, while the survivors and the second pod of about 250 were successfully re-floated.

Christophers said no freshly beached whales had been found today, although wildlife officers remained on high alert because of the mammals’ tendency to re-strand themselves.

Farewell Spit, about 150 kilometres west of the tourist town of Nelson, has witnessed at least nine pilot whale strandings in the past decade, although the latest was by far the largest.

The 26-kilometre hook of sand that protrudes out into the sea creates a shallow seabed that is believed to interfere with the whales’ sonar navigation systems.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Tour boats blamed for widespread reef damage

Again a environment disaster. And what a dramatic show of incompetent thai officials who not able to...(Read More)


Phuket has enough water, not a drought crisis: Governor

"Phuket has enough water, not a drought crisis: Governor" "“All local administrati...(Read More)


Rawai Municipality starts providing free emergency water

Still filling in the fresh water supply lake in Soi Namjai, Rawai !...(Read More)


Phuket has enough water, not a drought crisis: Governor

There is yes/no drought, but no drought crisis. Don't say 'crisis', otherwise tourists s...(Read More)


Navy launches operation ’Remove Seastead’

Wow,Yeah, 300 'Officials' on 1 photo. That is a hell of a coordination job for a Rear Admira...(Read More)


Navy launches operation ’Remove Seastead’

I'm wondering if Thailand has any right to touch this object, from what we are told it is in int...(Read More)


Police hunt for lifelong serial sex offender, rapist with mental problems at large in Phuket Town

Hmmm...how poorly can officials manage a mentally ill person that has proven himself a threat to soc...(Read More)


Mains water supply outage announced

"No water supply,no electricity,by temperatures around 37 degrees....."Silly,couldn't ...(Read More)


Navy launches operation ’Remove Seastead’

300 officials- must be one heck of a photo op!....(Read More)


Navy launches operation ’Remove Seastead’

This whole Seastead affair is a thai exaggerated, overblown, hysterical matter. Where in the world t...(Read More)