Photo of a Gray’s beaked whale

A mother Gray’s beaked whale and her calf have died on Moutohora/Whale Island in the Bay of Plenty.

The mother whale was discovered stranded on one of the sandy beaches on the island by a tour party aboard the White Island Tours boat Moutohora Cat at around 10am.

Her calf was swimming in the bay nearby.

The whale was initially identified as a False Killer Whale, a species which forms large pods which and have mass stranding potential, however, upon arrival at the island by helicopter DOC staff were able to determine it was a Grey’s beaked whale; a solitary species, and had already died.

The calf was later found on another beach on the island and died a short time later.

Ngati Awa and Department staff are working together to arrange a suitable location for the whale carcasses to decompose naturally.

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