Last Orca to Die in the New Zealand Stranding Was Comforted by a Compassionate Bystander
Original story at blog.seattlepi.com• 3 mentions • 3 weeks ago
blog.seattlepi.com 3 weeks ago
New Zealanders are reacting with concern and outrage tothe recent tragic death of nine orcas who stranded on their shoreline this week (International Dolphin and Whale Stranding Network), but also with touching compassion.A Southland woman held an orca as it lay dying and crying out near Tuatapere, while the rest of its pod lay dead on the beach on Tuesday night.Debra Drain was one of the first to reach the nine stranded mammals, near Blue Cliffs, after a tramper told her husband Jeff Drain he had seen them while walking the Hump Ridge track.Mrs Drain said several residents raced to the beach only to find eight of the orcas had already died.They had been pushed up against rocks, with their flesh torn from them, and the last one was still crying out, she said.And when the local Maori (the Ngai Tahu) representatives arrived, they gave the deceased orcas a traditional blessing.Ngai Tahu spokesman Dean Whaanga said that ”…like our human friends that have passed on, (give) a blessing to them and wish them well on their last journey, their final farewell,” Mr Whaanga said. ”Whales are like chiefs of the sea and because they died before we got there we said a wee farewell to them, on this their last journey” .