Abandoned whale calf put down amid angry protests
A baby whale that had been beached near Sydney, Australia had to be put down today, after authorities had spent many days trying to come up with a way to rescue it. The calf had attracted hundreds of spectators and huge outpourigns of sympathy.
Everyone wanted a happy ending, but it was not to be. A starving humpback whale calf that had lost its mother and was trying to suckle from yachts in waters off Sydney was put down today, as authorities decided that it would not have survived on its own.
The decision was taken by veterinarians and members of various government agencies after the condition of the female calf, believed to be one or two months' old, deteriorated rapidly. Angry local people, who had hoped to save the whale by feeding it artificially, shouted "Shame!" as veterinarians administered a sedative in shallow waters.
The 14ft mammal could be seen thrashing about before it quietened. Workers were able to hoist it on to a tarpaulin and drag it towards a closed tent on the beach where a final lethal injection was administered.
The plight of the young mammal had attracted a huge outpouring of sympathy as it roamed between yachts moored in an inlet off Sydney's northern shores for the past week, with efforts to save it ranging from the practical to the fanciful.