Desperate race to save beached whale – East London

East Londoners struggle to keep the stranded humpback whale alive while rescue efforts were being coordinated. Image: SUPPLIED
In a desperate attempt to save a stranded humpback whale’s life, East London museum principal scientist, Kevin Cole and his team are struggling to keep the 9.5 metre long mammal trauma free near Hickman’s River.

Cole said the sub adult whale weighed a good couple of tonnes and had been stranded in a tidal zone for a few hours.

“We’re trying our best to keep it wet and make sure there’s no further trauma, but every hour spent on the beach is a huge strain to its internal organs and the chances of the whale surviving are slim.

“We’re hoping that the high tide will wash it back out to sea, but its impossible for us to move it at this point because its too big and its body has sunk into the sand, there’s no chance of floatation,” said Cole.

He said that he could not verify what had caused the stranding, but that there was no external trauma to the body of the whale.

“I have not sexed it yet or done any in depth examinations on it in order not to stress it out more, but it could have been a simple navigational error that resulted in it being stranded,” said Cole.

Cole and his team are currently still on the scene, trying to keep the massive mammal alive.

Madeleine Chaput – Daily Dispatch



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