“Surrounded by love” Stranded juvenile pilot whale euthanised

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 20, 2024 |

Photo: Jess Duckmanton

A stranded juvenile pilot whale at Kaitorete Spit in Canterbury has been euthanised.

DOC staff were called to the remote site a few kilometres south of Birdlings Flat, after a resident spotted it early Wednesday morning.

Resident Jess Duckmanton said “as hard as everyone worked, unfortunately it was not the desired outcome.

It’s understood what was thought to be a whale pod nearby turned out to be dolphins.

“So with that in mind, and the fact she had beached again not being a good sign, she was euthanised about 1.40pm, but surrounded by love” Duckmanton said.

“A bunch of us got in the water with her and kept her wet until the awful time came.”

A Project Jonah spokeswoman said “the difficult decision was made after refloating was not possible due to very challenging conditions, including a steep beach, large dumpy waves and no vehicle or boat access.

The whale had been out of the water for several hours, had spent some time being rolled in the incoming tide and was highly stressed. This decision was not made lightly and the animal’s welfare was front and centre.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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