Some 200 whales got stranded in Golden Bay last Friday when 140 unfortunately died despite efforts to save them but the rest were able to be refloated.
Sixty of those restranded but staff from the Department of Conservation (DoC) and 400 volunteers kept them alive while waiting for a high tide. They were refloated on Saturday evening.
The whales were monitored overnight on Saturday but everything looked OK.
According to the DoC, mass stranding are rear and they usually attend to an average of 85 incidents every year of 1 or 2 whales or dolphins.
Marine mammal biologist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Trevor Spradlin said that pilot whales are more prone to mass stranding because “their need for group cohesion is very strong, so these animals stay together.”
Spradlin said that mass strandings usually start when one older or sick whale gets stuck, and then the rest follow because they don’t want to leave the one alone.