New Zealand rangers and volunteers are trying to rescue some 25 whales stranded on a beach on the country’s North Island, the Department of Conservation said on Saturday.
A pod of around 40 to 60 whales was sighted swimming close to the shore in shallow muddy water early on Saturday.
Some of the group, around 25 whales, got stranded, the department said in a statement on its Facebook account.
“We appreciate the public’s concern but the best thing you can do is stay away from the site to allow us to do our job,” they said on Facebook.
“Unfortunately, the next high tide is around 9 pm tonight. We have staff on site who are supported by the rural fire brigade and members of the local iwi. They are keeping the whales comfortable.”
In September, almost 470 pilot whales stranded on a beach in Tasmania state in Australia. Most of them died.