Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rescue attempt of whale on North Berwick beach

Last week, Heather Bacon, the JMICAWE's Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager, was called by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue to attend the stranding of a young minke whale washed up on the shore at North Berwick.
Battling 7 metre waves and driving hail, in freezing conditions, the Coastguard, East Lothian Ranger Service and the Police were already at the scene, along with BDMLR marine mammal medics, when Heather arrived with the BDMLR’s specially designed pontoons to aid in any re-floatation attempts. Sadly it quickly became clear that the young whale, at around 4 ½ metres long was not a candidate for re-floatation due to his own exhaustion and the extreme weather conditions.
Sourcing drugs for whale euthanasia is currently problematic due to restrictions on the specialist drugs needed for such large mammals, but with help from the R(D)SVS, appropriate medication was located.
Sadly the young whale died naturally just as vets were returning to the scene for euthanasia. A sad day for everyone involved but huge thanks to all who turned out to help in such terrible weather.
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