WELLINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- A pod of pilot whales were stranded overnight on a New Zealand beach, among which seven were refloated and escorted back to sea Saturday afternoon while four did not survive.
The seven short-finned whales had been looked after on the beach by nearly 1,000 volunteers until the tide arrived in the afternoon. They covered the whales with sheets and kept them wet with seawater.
"It's awesome to help stranded pilot whales and see them swim off, " said Adam Eynon-Richards, one of the beachgoers.
Staff from the Department of Conservation (DOC) led the rescue efforts and police also helped out. "They were seen swimming strongly and being active and it's hoped that they will remain at sea," a DOC spokesperson said.