Four pilot whales have died after stranding themselves on Uretiti Beach near Ruakaka, south of Whangārei.
Project Jonah New Zealand (PJNZ) announced the death of the four pilot whales at 8:30 am this morning. Pilot whales are quite prone to stranding.
Images provided by RFX Paton
Te Ao News has confirmed that at least 1 male and 1 female died, with the gender of the other 2 being unconfirmed. They will be lifted off the beach onto the sand dunes until further notice.
Meanwhile, the rest of the pod has been seen about 1 km offshore, heading south towards Langs Beach. PJNZ has lifted their alert status and is no longer observing them.
Northland medics, a rescue trailer and the Department of Conservation are believed to be at the strand now.
Local Iwi Patuharakeke will wānanga this weekend regarding their plans and how they will guard the carcasses.
Project Jonah New Zealand has advised locals not to head out to Ruakaka at this time.