650 whales end up stranded in New Zealand
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Volunteers have been struggling to refloat hundreds of whales after two consecutive mass strandings.

The problem started on Friday morning when more than 400 pilot whales were found to have beached themselves along a three-mile stretch of coastline at the tip of South Island.

Hundreds of people from all over the country descended on the beaches to try and refloat the animals, but no sooner had they started making headway when another entire pod of 240 pilot whales ended up stranding themselves in the same location.

At present, 335 of the whales have died, 220 are still stranded and 110 are back in the ocean.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly to rescue as many of the whales as possible with some risking close encounters with sharks and stingrays in an effort to help them return to the sea.

It remains unclear exactly why so many of the animals managed to strand themselves however the region's gently sloping beaches are understood to be a contributing factor.

As things stand, this is now New Zealand's third-largest mass stranding in recorded history.