125 WHALES DIE IN NEW ZEALAND MASS BEACHING

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Two strandings on opposite sides of South Island

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 29, 2009) – Conservation officials in New Zealand say more than 125 whales have died in two separate strandings.

More than 100 long-finned pilot whales died in a mass beaching near the South Island tourist town of Nelson, while 21 pilot whales died at a beach on the east coast of the North Island.

Conservation officials say none of the stranded pod near Nelson could be saved.

However, local volunteers and holidaymakers were able to herd around 40 whales from the other stranded pod back to sea.

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