In this Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 photo, pilot whales lie beached at Mason Bay, Rakiura on Stewart Island, New Zealand. As many as 145 pilot whales have died after the mass stranding which was discovered by a hiker on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.(Department of Conservation via AP)

145 pilot whales die in stranding on New Zealand beach

November 25, 2018 - 7:44 pm

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — All of the 145 pilot whales that stranded themselves on a remote New Zealand beach have died.

However, conservation workers are hoping to save some of the eight pygmy killer whales that remain stranded at the other end of the country in an unrelated event.

A hiker discovered the pilot whales in two pods about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) apart late Saturday on Stewart Island. About 75 were already dead and conservation workers decided to euthanize the others due to their poor condition and remote location.

Whale strandings are relatively common in New Zealand during the Southern Hemisphere spring and summer. It's believed strandings can be caused by a number of factors, such as the whales trying to escape predators, falling ill, or navigating incorrectly.

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