Last updated at 17:56 GMT, Tuesday, 04 February 2014

New Zealand whales

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Saving the lives of these stranded whales is a race against time.

Around 70 pilot whales have been found on the sand at Puponga Beach in New Zealand this week.

More than 100 volunteers worked tirelessly to get the animals floating again.

It's no mean feat to return these mammals to the sea. But only 46 survived and are now safely swimming in deeper water.

stranded

unable to leave a place because something prevents you

tirelessly

working energetically non-stop

floating

being near the surface of the water

no mean feat

a great achievement

mammals

animals which drink milk from their mothers' bodies when young, like dogs, cows and horses

Exercise

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports.

Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

stranded / tirelessly / floating / no mean feat / mammals

1.
The floods peaked at a lower level than expected but more than 30 suburbs are under water. Huge amounts of debris - cars, boats and jetties - have been __________ downstream, some smashing into bridges.

2.
Collecting medicine from a hospital or clinic-based dispensary in some of South Africa's townships is __________. There is the cost of transport to the facility, often hours spent queuing, the cost to have someone look after children left at home, or the loss of pay because of missing work.

3.
The Russian research ship Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese icebreaker Xue Long have broken free from Antarctic ice where they had been __________ for several days.

4.
"Our dedicated team of keepers, veterinary staff and many others worked __________ to ensure Tian Tian received the best care possible, which included remote observation and closing the panda enclosure to visitors to give her quiet and privacy."

5.
Smaller __________, like koalas, which can weigh as little as 8kg (18lb), tend to have a smaller larynx with shorter, thinner vocal folds. And just like strings on a musical instrument, these make a higher pitched sound.

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Exercise

Answers

How did you do?

1

floating

2

no mean feat

3

stranded

4

tirelessly

5

mammals

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