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58 pilot whales die in New Zealand

Fifty-eight pilot whales died after they were washed onto an isolated beach in northern New Zealand.

Rescue volunteers were preparing to make a fresh attempt to refloat 15 other whales which weigh up to 3,300 lbs each.

They will be using machinery including a crane and transporter, said Department of Conservation manager Mike Davies.

The 73 pilot whales probably stranded during the night on remote Karikari Beach which is why so many died before they were discovered, said another official.

New Zealand frequently sees mass whale strandings around its coastline, mainly in summer as whales pass by on their migration to and from Antarctic waters. Scientists have not been able to determine why whales become stranded.

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From Belfast Telegraph