Pilot whales mass beaching in New Zealand

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Over 40 pilot whales have died in a mass beaching in northern New Zealand on Friday. A pod of the same size was refloated by volunteers and guided by boats out to sea.

Boats from the Department of Conservation patrolled near the whales to encourage them to continue heading out to sea rather than return to Ruakaka beach.

“DOC staff spent most of the day trying to help the lone whale regain its balance, and it didn’t seem to be doing well,” said stranding controller Steve Goddard.

“We were also concerned it could still be calling the others back, given they hadn’t moved further away during the afternoon”.

Scores of volunteers were standing by in case the whales turned back toward shore.

Whale experts have never been unable to explain why the whales swim into dangerously shallow waters and strand themselves year after year

New Zealand has one of the world