Our Whale Rescue Crew team members Wendy Turner and Kerry O'Brien headed down to Golden Bay to help with a multi-day rescue of a large group of pilot whales. The head-count suggested that there were 84 whales at the initial stranding on the 4th of February, when they were discovered just after lunch by a member of the public. Department of Conservations current policy in the Golden Bay area, to remove all rescue personnel during the hours of darkness meant that the whales were unattended during the night. The whales had refloated, but remained disorientated during the night and attempted to restrand at Pakawau, kilometres away from their initial stranding site near Puponga.
Working closely with the Department of Conservation volunteers managed to avert this second stranding by encouraging the whales to head back out to sea, however as the group split into two it became harder to control them and eventually all three groups restranded at various locations across the Golden Bay beaches.
Eventually 67 whales were saved and the pod was spotted by plane at least 250 miles offshore from Farewell Spit and in the safety of the open ocean.
|Name||Pilot whale, long-finned|
|Max. size - Male||6.7 m (21.9 ft)|
|Max. size - Female||5.7 m (18.7 ft)|
|Calf size||1.7-1.8 m (5.5-5.9 ft)|
|Max. weight - Male||2,300 kg|
|Max. weight - Female||1,300 kg|
|Calf weight||75 kg|
|Food||primary food is squid, but known to take fish|
|Latin name||Globicephala melas|
|Location||Puponga, Farewell Spit|
At this rescue
Location of Rescue
Whale Rescue is a volunteer organisation, run by volunteers. There are lots of different ways that you can help us to continue rescuing whales and dolphins.