Mercy killing for beached baby whale in St Lucia

2010-09-02 00:00

EFFORTS to save the life of an injured humpback whale calf at iSimangaliso Wetland Park yesterday were unsuccessful and it was euthanised.

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park authority said the calf was sighted by an honorary officer at 5.45 am in shallow water near First Rocks, about 32 km into the park. The calf still had an umbilical cord and very soft tissue. There was also evidence of a shark bite. It was clear that its mother had abandoned it.

Efforts to help the calf back into deeper water using a 4x4 tractor lasted almost 90 minutes.

The calf beached itself repeatedly throughout the day. When it had beached itself in the afternoon, about 200 metres south of Lake St Lucia estuary, the calf was found by an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife vet to be in an extremely stressed and weakened state.

Specialists were consulted before the calf was euthanised.

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