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Stranded whale survives euthanasia as second whale washes up

Saturday 15 December 2012

humpback%20whale.jpg Experts say the humpback whale should be put down. Photo: Novum

A 12-metre humpbacked whale stranded on a sandbank in the Wadden Sea has survived a euthanasia attempt and animal rights activists are calling for another rescue effort at high tide.

At the same time, a dead young male sperm whale has washed up nearby on the shore of the island of Texel, raising suggestions there may be a link between the two cases.

The presence of the second whale was confirmed by Texel mayor Francine Giskes at a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

Lethal injection

She told reporters vets will make a second attempt to kill the humpback whale, now nicknamed Johannes, no earlier than Sunday.

The 20 tonne whale was given what vets hoped would be a fatal injection on Friday after two efforts to move the mammal to deeper waters failed.

Giskes told reporters marine biologists had concluded the whale has only a minimal chance of survival, if any. ‘Even if the animal could be saved, it will not have a happy ending,’ Giskes said. ‘It is not in the interest of the animal to release it. Its muscles have weakened and you would not be helping it.’

Sperm whale

Experts are also looking into the death of a sperm whale which washed up on the Texel shore on Saturday, around one kilometre from the location of the humpback. It is a young male and some 12 metres long.

The mayor said the arrival of two large marine mammals is an extremely rare occurrence. The entire area has been sealed off to the public and is being patrolled by the police.


Meanwhile, animal rights activities are calling for a third rescue attempt. ‘Animal protectors want another rescue attempt, the authorities a new lethal injection,’ said Marianne Thieme, leader of the pro-animal party PvdD.

Lenie 't Hart from the seal sanctuary in Groningen has also called for another effort to free the whale. She said the animal was still active when given what should have been a lethal injection on Friday.

Volunteers at the sanctuary have considerable experience in releasing stranded sea mammals, 't Hart said. Her plan involved blasting away the sand under the whale’s body to help it reach deeper waters.

Last chance

‘I do not understand why the vet would not give the animal a last chance,’ she said. ‘This is not taking proper care of a protected species.’

Activists from the Sea Shepherd organisation are also on their way to the Wadden Sea.

‘It is clear that things don’t add up,’ Geert Vons, director of the Dutch arm of the environmental group, told news agency ANP.

Earlier stories

Final effort to free humpback whale fails
Humpback whale rescue efforts halted

Your thoughts? Use the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

use a grenate instead of injections and stopp harrasing that poor animal. it´s clear that it will die.

By Ilonka Liska | 15 December 2012 5:34 PM

If the Dutch government thought they could make a buck out of selling this whale like they did last time they would be making more of an effort to save it.

By jason buttle | 15 December 2012 5:40 PM

Maybe the whale just wants to die? Are whales not allowed to die or something?

By TheChairman | 16 December 2012 12:10 PM

Jason I've read a story that the skeleton was sold to museum even before it died.

By @CluthaDubh | 16 December 2012 1:06 PM

Sadly but true, Johannes skeleton was already been sold before it even had the chance to escape. After wednesday the so called 'experts' who also be the same cooperative who works for the Museum Naturalis decided the whale was to weak to move on.
But it was all false expertise, to justify their descission to have the skeleton.
Dutch returning back as whale hunters?

By Alex | 17 December 2012 8:49 AM

Exploiting a protected species for money? The country that hosts the international court system *and* the international headquarters for Greenpeace? This truly is the Land of Paradox...

I'm very sorry that Lenie was not allowed to help. But thanks to the people who did try and wanted to keep trying.

By J. | 17 December 2012 12:32 PM

J., the Greenpeace (an odious organization that is against progress, development and growth by the way) is a private institution whose decision on where to place its evil HQ is not of public interest (maybe of intelligence services working to prevent ecoterrorism)

By A.L. | 18 December 2012 1:43 AM

@J, does everyone in the country where you were born have the same opinion about everything? The fact that there are more then 10 parties in Dutch parliament should give you a clue that not everyone in the Netherlands thinks the same about various matters. What you call the Land of Paradox is a normal phenomenon in all countries of the world.

By pepe | 20 December 2012 3:33 PM

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