Almost 200 pilot whales stranded themselves Friday on a New Zealand beach renowned as a deathtrap for the marine mammals, conservation officials said. At least 24 whales from the pod of 198 that beached themselves at Farewell Spit had died and rescue workers were trying to refloat the survivors, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said. "Re-floating stranded whales is a difficult and potentially dangerous job… community group Project Jonah has 140 volunteers in the Golden Bay area who are trained to do this and we’re working alongside them," DOC spokesman Andrew Lamason said. Farewell Spit beach, at the northern tip of the South Island, has been the scene of many mass pilot whale strandings over the years.
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