WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — It was the sound of soft sighs and cries in the half-light that first struck Cheree Morrison, and then as the dawn broke she began to see the extent of the carnage — more than 400 whales had swum aground along a remote New Zealand beach.
About 275 of the pilot whales were already dead when Morrison and two colleagues found them Friday on Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island.
Within hours, hundreds of farmers, tourists and teenagers were racing to keep the surviving 140 or so whales alive in one of the worst whale strandings in the nation’s history.
Morrison, a magazine writer and editor, stumbled upon the whales after taking a pre-dawn trip with a photographer and a guide to capture the red glow of the sunrise.
“You could hear the sounds of splashing, of blowholes being cleared, of sighing,” she said. “The young …
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