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Dramatic whale rescue in New Zealand


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Dramatic whale rescue


Last updated at 21:05pm on 10th November 2006

About 40 whales have died on a beach after swimming too close to shore, but beachside residents were able to save about 40 others.


The beachings of the pilot whales prompted a community-wide rescue by residents of Ruakaka Beach, about 85 miles north of Auckland, New Zealand.


Rescuers said about 40 whales had been pushed back to sea after volunteers from the town came to their aid.


"People seemed to come out of the woodwork from everywhere," firefighter Ben Trial said. Rescue coordinator Sue Campbell said burial plans were underway for 40 or so whales that died on the beach.



New Zealand has one of the world's highest rates of whale strandings, with historical records showing more than 5,000 whales and dolphins had beached themselves in the past 160 years.

The whales became stranded after swimming too close to the beach, according to the New Zealand Herald newspaper.



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