Seventy-five sperm whales were stranded on Muriwai Beach, north-west of Auckland in New Zealand on Monday (28 October).
LV Dead whales along shoreline
CU Dead whales on beach (4 shots)
CU Dead whales TILT UP TO GV Other whales on shore
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Background: Seventy-five sperm whales were stranded on Muriwai Beach, north-west of Auckland in New Zealand on Monday (28 October).
By early afternoon, the whales were dead. Their carcasses were attacked by sightseers and souvenier hunters.
The whales, which measured between 20 and 40 feet long (6.1 to 12.2 mtrs were spread along two miles (3.2 kms) of shore. The wind, surf and tide of the Tasman Sea quickly began disposing of the bodies. By Wednesday (30 October), many of the whales had begun to sink into the black sand.
The regional Marine Department decided to let nature do the rest of the work after learning that the constant Muriwai surf would make mechanical disposal an expensive and difficult operation.
Marine biologists had advised the Department that the carcasses would not yield enough oil to make recovery an economic proposal.
The Auckland War Museum's Director, Mr. E.G. Turbott put forward the view that the mass stranding resulted from the school answering a distress call from one of its members.