Video Credit: CEN/Fundacion Mundo Marino
This is the moment rescuers help a stranded whale back into the ocean after it was spotted by a tourist who alerted the authorities to save the day.
The incident occurred in Punta Rasa near the town of San Clemente del Tuyu in the south-eastern Argentine province of Buenos Aires after tourist Karina Pascuali spotted the beached dwarf minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) measuring 3.4 metres and 500 kilogrammes.
The tourist alerted the authorities and specialists from the Fundacion Mundo Marino (World Marine Foundation) and the Argentine Naval Prefecture went to the scene.
Biologist Sergio Rodriguez Heredia, who is the chief of the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at the World Marine Foundation said: “Like any other cetacean you straighten it out so that its blowholes aren’t below the water and stop it from browning.
“In this case, we tried to float it using balancing techniques and we massaged it so that its cramping went away.”
He said the whale “responded satisfactorily and could return to the sea.”
In the video, the rescuers can be seen working to move the whale onto a plastic float as they pour water into it.
They then move further out to sea before releasing the whale and celebrating its return to the ocean.
Local media report swabs were taken from the whale’s eye and airways as well as blood samples. Vet Juan Pablo Loureiro saying “the results of the analysis showed dehydration and severe infection.”
Biologist Heredia said the whale’s beaching appears related to its illness but added the animal could have gone close to the shore “in search of food”.
Dwarf minke whales feed mainly on small lanternfish.
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