When hundreds of beached pilot whales appeared along New Zealand’s shore, hundreds of volunteers rushed to their rescue. Most of them did not survive the mass stranding but some were able to return to the ocean. Volunteers made a long human chain in the water in order to prevent them from returning to the beach.

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Two days after hundreds of pilot whales washed up on a remote New Zealand beach, the rescue mission to return them to the ocean continues. On Friday, hundreds of volunteers rushed to Farewell Spit in order to participate in the intense efforts to prevent more whales from getting stuck on the shore.

Hundreds of volunteers entered the shallow waters and joined hands in order to form a massive human chain in an attempt to prevent additional whales from washing ashore. Meanwhile, the efforts to return the stranded whales continue. However, most of them did not survive the mass stranding.

New Zealand, today

New Zealand, today Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

“We had 240 whales strand yesterday in the afternoon and we were fearful we were going to end up with 240 dead whales this morning but they self-rescued,” said Herb Christophers, a Department of Conservation spokesman. “In other words, the tide came in and they were able to float off and swim out to sea.”

In the past two days, more than 650 whales have beached themselves along Farewell Spit in one of the most serious whale tragedies to hit New Zealand.