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Over 400 pilot whales stranded on a New Zealand beach.

New Zealand : On Friday morning  416 pilot whales have been stranded on a New Zealand beach in one of the worst incidences of its kind in the country’s history.

According to  Department of Conservation, The whales are located at Farewell Spit near the city of Nelson, with volunteers doing what they can to help save the surviving 100 whales. 250 to 300 are already dead.

“It can be really quite distressing seeing so many dead whales,” Kath Inwood, a ranger with the Department of Conservation, told AP. “People need to be resilient and handle that and then get on with what needs to be done.”

There are 300 volunteers working onsite alongside staff from the Department of Conservation and organisation  Project Jonah, with some people coming across the country to help. Inwood said that volunteers refloated the whales at high tide, forming a chain to stop them from swimming back onshore.

Earlier, volunteers had tried to keep the surviving whales damp and cool by placing blankets over them, as well as throwing buckets of water on them while waiting for high tide to come.

There was only one opportunity on Friday to float the whales at high tide, as no work will be done overnight due to the risk to people. Half of the 100 whales have been re-stranded after they were refloated.

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