Ninety whales stranded on New Zealand beach

January 23, 2012
This file photo, released by Southland Times, shows pilot whales, stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand, in 2003. A pod of 90 pilot whales have beached themselves at the top of New Zealand's South island, in the same area where seven whales died in a mass stranding earlier this month, according to officials.

A pod of 90 pilot whales have beached themselves at the top of New Zealand's South island, in the same area where seven whales died in a mass stranding earlier this month, according to officials.

Regional conservation department manager John Mason said staff and would attempt to keep the whales cool until the late night high tide when it was hoped they would refloat themselves.

The whales came ashore at Golden Bay, near the tourist city of Nelson, where strandings on the tidal flats are common.

Earlier this month 25 whales were stranded on the same stretch of beach and only 18 were refloated, while 47 died in the same area two months ago.

Pilot up to six metres (20 feet) long are the most common species of whale seen in New Zealand waters.

Explore further: More than 20 whales die in mass beaching in New Zealand

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