Early in the New Zealand morning of August 20th, conservation officials received a call reporting that 58 pilot whales had beached themselves on the local shore.
Pilot whales, part of the dolphin family, are usually between 16-20 feet and 1.5-3 tons (males usually on the larger end of the scale and females on the smaller.) Mass beachings of these whales is not uncommon and is blamed upon their social nature.
Last reported only 15 of the 58 beached whales were still alive. While officials are still trying to set the survivors out to see, any successful returns are yet to be seen.