As many differences as we humans have, sometimes it just takes one necessary act of compassion to unite us all. Just take a look at the beautiful collaboration that resulted on Sunday when two stranded whales were found on Waimairi Beach in New Zealand. Despite the fact that the last whale stranding in the area had occurred in 1984, locals were able to act quickly and swiftly at remedying the situation. And it wasn’t long before word of mouth made its rounds, and neighbors from the surrounding area starting making their way to the beach to offer a friendly hand.

Unfortunately, for one of the whales, it was already too late by the time people began gathering…

The second whale, however, still showed promise for survival. So locals started pouring water over the animal for some cool relief. 

Locals and volunteers from Project Jonah, a group that cares for whales, dolphins, and seals, created a human chain to get water from the ocean over to the whale. 

To keep the whale alive, volunteers dug a hole around it to prevent sand from compressing its organs. 

Thanks to the trench, the whale did not have to wait very long to be re-floated back into the ocean. 

The whale sure had plenty of sweet company for the time it did spend on the beach, though. 




An inflatable rescue boat from the Waimairi Surf Life Saving Club was eventually used to steer the whale over the breaking waves and then the Coastguard took over to ferry it out about 500 meters from shore. We’re glad this whale got back to where it belongs!

Craig Alexander, Supervisor of the Department of Conservation Biodiversity, was amazed at how locals and volunteers banded together for these two majestic animals. “The support from the locals was fantastic,” Alexander said, “and despite the number of people, everyone was well-behaved and respectful of the whale.”

After a disheartening year of seeing people maltreat distressed wildlife animals, it really brightens our spirits to see people doing the right thing and helping these animals! Consider our faith in humanity restored!


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