Stranded Baby Minke Whale Euthanized

The whale's condition continued to deteriorate after it re-stranded itself
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2021 12:09 AM CDT
Stranded Baby Minke Whale Euthanized
A man hoses down a young minke whale that was stuck at Richmond Lock, London, Sunday May 9, 2021, after it became stranded in the River Thames in south-west London.   (David Kors via AP)

A sad ending to the story of the young minke whale found trapped in the River Thames on Sunday: The stranded juvenile was euthanized Monday night. After the whale was initially refloated and then got stuck again, its condition "deteriorated rapidly" and it was having trouble swimming and seemed to be losing energy, rescuers said, per the BBC. It had also suffered stranding injuries. A veterinarian from the Zoological Society of London injected an overdose of anesthetic, Reuters reports. It had been "suffering quite badly," a British Divers Marine Life Rescue said. A postmortem examination will be done on the whale, which was between 10 and 13 feet long.

Another BDMLR member said such animals typically come ashore for a specific reason; this one was hundreds of miles from home. "Sometimes it is by accident, they do get stranded, but usually sadly it is the case that they're already seriously ill or badly injured," he says. "And there's not a great deal we can do in that situation." Experts also said the size of the whale indicated it was either still dependent on its mother or, at least, "societally dependent," and thus could not have been easily released back into the Atlantic safely. It appeared to be nutritionally deficient, they say, indicating it may have been separated from its mother too early. (Read more minke whales stories.)

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