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New Zealand warns of exploding whale carcassess after mass stranding

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 01:22

New Zealand authorities get ready to cut holes in 300 whale carcasses so they don't explode as they decompose on the beach at Golden Bay. Samantha Vadas reports.

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Four days after one of New Zealand's biggest whale strandings, this picturesque beach at Golden Bay on Monday (February 13) began to look grim. The popular shoreline cordoned off as three hunded beached pilot whales were left to rot. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION RANGER, SIMON WALLS, SAYING: "The sight is absolutely horrific. I can just look down that row of whales just going into the distance and they're all dead. You can see the families, you can see the old ones, you've got some little ones here too. Yup, all dead together on the beach." They're some of the 700 whales which washed up on Thursday (February 9) and over the weekend. Rescuers only managing to save around 400 of them. Authroities now gearing up to cut holes in those which didn't make it back out to sea. The process is carried out to release internal gasses so the huge mammals don't blow up. (SOUNDBITE)(English) DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION BIODIVERSITY RANGER, AMANDA HARVEY, SAYING: "Unfortunately when a whale heats up a lot of pressure builds up in their body and, yeah, the only option is for them to explode and, just with the movement of the currents in the ocean and the heat of the sun in the last couple of days, a lot of them are not looking like whales very much anymore." Why the whales became stranded is still unkown. It's expected to take several months for the bodies to decompose.

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New Zealand warns of exploding whale carcassess after mass stranding

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 01:22