18 Apr 2017

Whale graveyard discovered on the Kaikōura coast

8:56 pm on 18 April 2017

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is putting up barriers around a stash of whale bones uncovered over the weekend, because people have been stealing them.

The 150-year-old whale bones were uncovered on Sunday on the Kaikōura peninsula near Jimmy Armers Beach, after heavy rain washed away the sand covering them.

They are believed to be from a whaling station operating nearby in the 1800s.

DOC community ranger Brett Cowan said two truckloads of bones have been removed for their protection, as poachers have attempted to steal some of them.

"What people see is just a fragment of really really large bones that we can't even get out. We are hoping that Mother Nature will cover them up in due time, but if that's not the case we might have to seek permission to get a digger down there and move a bit of sand around," he said.

Barriers were being put up around the area to warn the public and discourage thieves.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs