Dutch give up hope of saving stranded whale

December 14, 2012
Dutch animal rescuers have given up hope of saving a stranded 12-metre (32-foot) humpback whale on a northern Frisian island after a final attempt to pull it to sea failed, a rescue spokeswoman said Friday.

Dutch animal rescuers have given up hope of saving a stranded 12-metre (32-foot) humpback whale on a northern Frisian island after a final attempt to pull it to sea failed, a rescue spokeswoman said Friday.

"We decided late last night after consultations that we will not try to save the stranded whale any more," Henriette de Waal, spokesperson for the Ecomare nature conservation group told AFP.

The drama, which has gripped animal-loving Netherlands started after the humpback, now dubbed "Johannes" was found washed up on a sand bank on Wednesday near the island of Texel.

Initially the whale freed itself at high tide, but seemed disorientated and stranded once again shortly afterwards, Ecomare said.

Rescue workers tried several times to pull the animal to deeper water without success—with the last attempt on Thursday evening ending in failure after a net around the aquatic mammal broke and a rescue helicopter experienced technical problems.

"The whale is also stranded in a dangerous area called the "Razende Bol" (Raging Ball), with strong tides and high winds," De Waal said, which hampered the now cancelled rescue attempt.

"The mayor of Texel has ordered that the area be cordoned off and the animal allowed to die in peace," she said, adding it was impossible to tell how long that would take.

Meanwhile, the drama has gripped the Netherlands with many daily newspapers reporting on its progress.

"The Dutch like their animals," said the popular daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad, adding "The Netherlands is praying for Johannes".

It added however that "according to experts there is no way to save it".

Explore further: Hope fades for stranded whale in Danish fjord

Related Stories

Onlookers hamper whale rescue in Indonesia

July 27, 2012

Rescuers in Indonesia fought Friday to help a sperm whale stuck in shallow waters to return to sea, as their efforts were hampered by local residents arriving on boats and driving it back to shore.

Indonesian rescuers free stranded whale

July 29, 2012

Rescuers and navy divers in Indonesia Saturday helped a sperm whale return to the sea after it was stranded in shallow waters off the coast of West Java province for four days.

Rescued sperm whale dies in Indonesia

July 30, 2012

A sperm whale that was rescued and returned to sea after being stranded for four days in shallow waters off the coast of West Java in Indonesia has died, a rescuer said Monday.

Recommended for you

Scientists overcome key CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing hurdle

December 1, 2015

Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered changes to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that significantly cut down on "off-target" ...

Study finds 'rudimentary' empathy in macaques

December 1, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Lyon, in France has conducted a study that has shown that macaques have at least some degree of empathy towards their fellow ...

Which came first—the sponge or the comb jelly?

December 1, 2015

Bristol study reaffirms classical view of early animal evolution. Whether sponges or comb jellies (also known as sea gooseberries) represent the oldest extant animal phylum is of crucial importance to our understanding of ...

Trap-jaw ants exhibit previously unseen jumping behavior

December 1, 2015

A species of trap-jaw ant has been found to exhibit a previously unseen jumping behavior, using its legs rather than its powerful jaws. The discovery makes this species, Odontomachus rixosus, the only species of ant that ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Dec 14, 2012
Really? Human ingenuity can't move this creature? Or are we too cheap to save it?

It seems to have captured the attention of their country. I'm sure they would have enough volunteers to dig a channel if necessary.

Although... It beached itself twice. Is there something wrong? Will it just do it again?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.