Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


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

Date:  30 March 2017

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 10 am. Her calf was swimming in the bay nearby.

The whale was initially identified as a false killer whale, a species which forms large pods and has mass stranding potential.

However, after arriving at the island by helicopter, DOC staff determined it was a Gray’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.

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


Steve Brightwell, DOC Partnership Ranger
Phone: +64 7 307 2774

Back to top