Beached Whale Free After Calf Seen Nudging Her

Both make it back to deeper waters
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2016 1:59 PM CDT

Workers in Australia's Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services were saved some work Wednesday morning, and they've apparently got a young humpback whale to thank. Responding to help an adult whale beached on a sandbar, the workers found that she had managed to free herself before they got there. The incoming tide surely helped, but both the BBC and Australia's ABC report that her young calf appeared to be trying to nudge her off the sandbar near North Stradbroke Island, about 60 miles south of Brisbane. (See this video.)

"The mother was a bit tired and distressed," says a QPWS spokesperson. Whales are a common sight off the Queensland coast this time of year, as they migrate north from their Antarctic habitats to give birth to new calves. Australian scientists have been using drones to study the migration, mating, and behavioral patterns of whales, the West Australian reports. (Humpbacks have been known to save other animals from killer whales.)

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