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200 beached whales swim away in NZ

Posted: 12:52 PM, Feb 12, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-12 15:52:36-05

After a week of heartache following the stranding of hundreds of whales on the New Zealand coast, an estimated 200 pilot whales managed to swim away over the weekend, according to the Department of Conservation. 

This comes after nearly 400 whales became beached on the New Zealand coast last Thursday.

Nearly half of the 650 whales that have been beached on the shore of Farewell Spit since last week have died. But the number could have been higher without the help of rescue workers and volunteers who managed to help 80 whales back into the water. 

Workers spent Sunday forming a human chain in neck-deep water to prevent the pilot whales from reaching the beach. Twenty whales managed to stand themselves and will likely be euthanized. 

One problem officials warned of was exploding carcasses. According to the New Zealand Herald, citizens are being warned to avoid the beach as decomposing whales could explode. The Department of Conservation told the Herald that it will take a few days to make arrangements to remove whales.

According to the Department of Conservation, last week's stranding was the second largest in New Zealand's history.