Marine wildlife experts on Thursday abandoned their efforts to rescue a humpback whale which had become stranded on a sandbank in the Wadden Sea.
A stressful operation using heavy equipment to try to move the whale is no longer an option because the 25 tonne mammal is dying, experts from the Ecomare marine centre said.
‘It was a difficult decision but in this case it is in the best interests of the animal to let it die in peace,’ the organisation said in a statement.
Rescuers had hoped the whale, which first became stranded on Wednesday, would be able to leave of his own accord at high tide.
At one point the whale did free himself from the sand but returned after an hour, Nos television said. Rescuers said at that point they expected the giant mammal to die because low water levels allows the weight of his body to press on vital organs.