Cape Town - A juvenile humpback whale that beached at Great Brak near Mossel Bay had to be euthanised on Monday.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said that NSRI volunteers from Mossel Bay were requested by the Department of Environmental Affairs to investigate reports of the beached whale.
"On arrival at the scene we found a juvenile humpback whale on the beach. The whale was hard aground in shallow surf and appeared to be weak and in poor health.
"Members of the public and Pinnacle Conservation were attempting to assist the whale back into the water," he said.
"Sadly, despite all efforts, the whale could not be successfully re-floated. Two veterinary surgeons were dispatched to assess the health of the animal and it was deemed by these vets that the animal was in poor health."
"The vets, in consultation with wildlife veterinary surgeons, then made arrangements for the whale to be euthanised."
Department of Environmental Affairs representative Mike Meyer stressed the difficulty of attempting to rescue a whale of that size in heavy sea conditions.
He said it puts the rescuers at incredible risk to injury and that the team that was sent to humanely euthanise the whale were presented with "difficult circumstances in adverse sea conditions”.