Date: 30 March 2017
The mother whale was discovered stranded on one of the sandy beaches on the island by a tour party aboard the White Island Tours boat Moutohora Cat at around 10 am. Her calf was swimming in the bay nearby.
The whale was initially identified as a false killer whale, a species which forms large pods and has mass stranding potential.
However, after arriving at the island by helicopter, DOC staff determined it was a Gray’s beaked whale, a solitary species, and had already died.
The calf was later found on another beach on the island and died a short time later.
Ngāti Awa and DOC staff are working together to arrange a suitable location for the whale carcasses to decompose naturally.