Nearly 100 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand

Nearly 100 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand
A handout photo from the New Zealand Department of Conservation shows some of the 100 dead pilot whales stranded on New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands. (New Zealand Department of Conservation via AFP)
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Updated 25 November 2020

Nearly 100 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand

Nearly 100 whales die after mass stranding in New Zealand
  • Most of them were stranded during the weekend but rescue efforts have been hampered by the remote location of the island

WELLINGTON: About 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins have died in a mass stranding on the remote Chatham Islands, about 800 km (497 miles) off New Zealand’s east coast, officials said on Wednesday.
Most of them were stranded during the weekend but rescue efforts have been hampered by the remote location of the island.
New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) said in total 97 pilot whales and three dolphins died in the stranding, adding that they were notified of the incident on Sunday.
“Only 26 of the whales were still alive at this point, the majority of them appearing very weak, and were euthanized due to the rough sea conditions and almost certainty of there being great white sharks in the water which are brought in by a stranding like this,” said DOC Biodiversity Ranger Jemma Welch.
Mass strandings are reasonably common on the Chatham Islands with up to 1,000 animals dying in a single stranding in 1918.
Mass whale strandings have occurred throughout recorded modern history, and why it happens is a question that has puzzled marine biologists for years.
In late September, several hundred whales died in shallow waters off the Australian coast in one of the world’s biggest mass whale strandings.


TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options

TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options
Updated 15 January 2021

TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options

TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options
  • The Facebook-owned messaging service has issued a new privacy policy

DUBAI: WhatsApp users are generally undecided whether to continue using the app or consider switching to other available options, an Arab News poll showed.

The Facebook-owned messaging service has issued a new privacy policy, which some reports claimed would share users’ data without giving them a choice, something that 29.7 percent of the poll respondents said they would accept.

Meanwhile, about 38.8 percent of those who answered the poll said they would decline the new privacy policy and switch to other apps while 31.5 percent were undecided on what to do with the WhatsApp app installed in their phones.

Alternative messaging services such as Signal and Telegram meanwhile benefited from the negative press that WhatsApp received, both receiving subscriber boost in just a few days.

Signal in particular added a whopping 4.6 million new users right after receiving an endorsement from technology mogul Elon Musk.

Unlike WhatsApp, which shares user data with Facebook, Signal has a history of fighting any entity that asks for private data and adds features to further anonymize users where possible.

Telegram, which is currently No. 2 behind Signal on the App Store, saw more than 25 million new users sign up in just the last few days.

The mistrust over WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy may also affect its ambitions in India, its biggest market, where 400 million users exchange more messages on the platform.

The backlash forced it to undertake advertising blitz costing tens of millions of rupees in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers.