Scores of whales beached in New Zealand

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- More than 100 pilot whales have beached on New Zealand's South Island, and at least 19 have died, officials said.

Conservation workers and volunteers rushed to keep the surviving members of the pod covered with moisture today.

Workers had tracked the 123-member pod of whales since it was first seen Tuesday apparently confused and milling around near the shore.

New Zealand has several mass strandings each summer. Experts have been unable to explain why the whales swim into dangerously shallow waters.

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