Stranded whale in western Washington freed and reported swimming again

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In Seattle hard working animal advocates freed a juvenile gray stranded whale on a remote beach in Olympic National Park and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary for about three days. On Saturday, NOAA Fisheries announced that workers were able to free the 24-foot whale during high tide after some masterful engineering techniques.

According to the KomoNews, NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network and Olympic National Park were able to construct a harness around the whale and linked it to pulleys anchored on the beach and on the shore after digging a trench. Experts from Cascadia Research Collective, SR3, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife  used the pulley system to turn the whale around and pull it into the ocean.

Experts say the young male, believed to be between one and two years of age remained alert and responsive during the rescue operation and had tried several times on his own to free himself. 

“Whales are not designed to be out of water so their organ systems rapidly decline when beached and medical care is essential,” Lesanna Lahner, a wildlife veterinarian at SR3, a marine mammal rescue organization, said.

The whale was administered supportive medications while beached to help his survival chances. Gray whales often feed in shallow waters which increases their chances for becoming beached. It has subsequently been reported that observers saw the whale regaining his strength and swimming away.

Many thanks to the heroes of our precious sea life.

(Photos of stranded whale via NOAA. Video via KOMO News)

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3 replies
  1. susispot says:

    Wow! What an undertaking! But the reward was great when he swam away. What could that have felt like. I imagine every heart that helped swelled. Thank you to the kind folks that saved this young life. I hope he continues to thrive.


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