27 Nov 2018

Preparations in place to refloat eight pygmy whales

7:26 am on 27 November 2018

Department of Conservation staff and volunteers are preparing to refloat eight whales which have been moved to an east coast Northland beach.

Pygmy whales are stranded on Ninety Mile Beach.

The pygmy whales were stranded on 90 Mile beach on Sunday. Photo: Project Jonah / Facebook

Eight pygmy whales - the survivors of 12 which stranded on Ninety Mile beach on Sunday - spent the night in an estuary at Te Rarawa beach.

DOC Kaitaia operations manager DJ Neho said volunteers were starting to arrive to help move the whales.

Volunteers were expected to start the moving process at 10am and would try to refloat the whales at high tide, shortly after 11.30am.

Mr Neho said volunteers and staff worked two-hour shifts overnight to look after the whales in the creek.

DOC were asking for volunteers to bring sheets, shovels and buckets, and wetsuits if they want to go into the water.

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