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Bid to save whale stranded at pier.

A MAJOR rescue operation was launched after a 40ft long fin whale got stranded against a pier wall.

The young mammal came into the harbour in Baltimore, West Cork during low tide and got stuck in the small port.

Boats initially tried to herd it back out to sea in a desperate bid to save its life, but their efforts were in vain and the panicked calf turned back towards the harbour.

Experts from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said from the description it appeared to be a young fin whale which may be sick or starving.

But group founder Dr Simon Berrow said it seemed unlikely it could be saved.

He added: "We've had this before on the South-West coast where whales have been emaciated and died.

"It's hard to know. It's a young fin whale, it may be starving to death.

"If there is any chance of herding it out that is an option but it would need to be kept away from mooring lines.

"You want to keep back boats and jet skies, anything that could stress the whale further."

CAPTION(S):

PANICKED J The stranded fin whale calf TRAPPED Z The young fin whale can't get away from the pier
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2012
Words:205
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