National

Dec 28, 2009 10:06 AM by Associated Press

Dozens of rescued whales make it back out to sea

Vacationers and conservation workers in New Zealand have been able to coax more than 40 pilot whales back out to sea, after they became stranded on a beach. But about 125 other whales couldn't be saved.

Rescuers have been monitoring the progress of the survivors -- and the whales are now reported to be well out to sea.

The workers and volunteers helped refloat the surviving whales at high tide.

The volunteers had covered the stranded mammals in sheets and kept them wet through the day. A conservation ranger says one of the whales may have been sick, or the whales' sonar may have led them into a shallow harbor where they couldn't find their way out again.

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