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Blue whale sightings excite tourists

Last updated 11:09 23/01/2013
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Awesome: Numerous sightings of blue whales off the Kaikoura coast  caused plenty of excitement over the past three weeks

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A number of sightings of blue whales this summer have got tourists and Whale Watch Kaikoura crews pretty excited.

The five sightings that occurred in just one day was very rare, spokeswoman Lisa Bond said.

There seemed to be a large amount of krill, indicated by the red colouring of the water.

The blue whale can eat between four and eight tonnes of krill a day.

At 30 metres long and 170 tonnes or more, the blue whale is the largest animal ever known.

Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans until the beginning of the 20th century. They were hunted almost to extinction until protected by the international community in 1966.

A 2002 report estimated there were 5000 to 12,000 blue whales remaining worldwide.

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- Kaikoura Star

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