Wellington, Dec 28: The beaches of New Zealand saw two separate mass stranding incidents in which over 120 whales were killed over the weekend.
Around 105 long-finned pilot whales died in a mass beaching near the South Island's town of Nelson, while 21 pilot whales died at a beach on the east coast of the North Island, country's conservation officials informed.
On the North Island beach, tourists and local volunteers were able to save as many as 40 whales.
The people managed to save the whales by keeping them wet until they could be refloated on the afternoon's high tide.
Rescue officials have informed that the survivors were swimming strong and appeared to be in no danger of beaching again.
Scientists are still trying to ascertain how the pilot whales ended up stranded.
There are theories that their sonar may have led them into the shallow harbor and they could not find their way out of the shallow water.