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Thursday, February 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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More than 200 whales swim away after New Zealand stranding

In this Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, photo, German visitor Lea Stubbe rubs water on a pilot whale that beached itself at the remote Farewell Spit on the tip of the South Island of New Zealand. (Tim Cuff / New Zealand Herald)
In this Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, photo, German visitor Lea Stubbe rubs water on a pilot whale that beached itself at the remote Farewell Spit on the tip of the South Island of New Zealand. (Tim Cuff / New Zealand Herald)
By Nick Perry Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Whale lovers in New Zealand finally got some good news after more than 200 stranded whales managed to refloat themselves overnight and swim away, while volunteers managed to save another 17 whales at high tide.

More than 650 pilot whales have beached themselves along Farewell Spit at the tip of the South Island in two separate mass strandings over recent days.

About 350 whales have died, including 20 that were euthanized. Another 100 have been refloated by volunteers and more than 200 have swum away unassisted.

Hundreds of volunteers have spent days at the beach dousing the whales with buckets of water and trying to refloat them.

Department of Conservation spokesman Herb Christophers said on Sunday everyone is hoping the strandings are finally over.

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