Scores of whales stranded on remote beach

New Zealand conservation officials said a pod of 74 pilot whales was stranded on a remote northern New Zealand beach – the second mass stranding in the region in a month.

Department area manager Jonathan Maxwell said 25 of the mammals were already dead when officials arrived at Spirits Bay beach.

Forty-nine whales were alive on the beach, and another 50 were spotted just offshore.

Mr Maxwell said volunteers were preparing to stay at the beach overnight to help keep the whales alive.

They would have to battle a strong swell and high winds in an effort to refloat the animals tomorrow.

In August, 58 pilot whales stranded at a nearby beach and just nine were successfully refloated.

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