Trapped Whale-Australia (cont.)

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Mon, 7 Nov 1994 21:22:14

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Date: Mon, 07 Nov 1994 21:14:48 -0500 (EST)
From: WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org
Subject: Trapped Whale-Australia (cont.)
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET"  7-NOV-1994 16:44:13.24
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Subj:	HOPES RAISED FOR WHALE TO
 
Date:         Mon, 7 Nov 1994 13:25:03 PST
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
Subject:      HOPES RAISED FOR WHALE TO
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
 
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
HOPES RAISED FOR WHALE TO RETURN TO SEA
 
   SYDNEY, Nov 6 AAP - Another attempt will be made this week to
free a whale trapped in the Manning River, on the New South Wales
mid-north coast.
   The the 10-tonne whale, nicknamed Willie by the media and
Pimpernel by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), has
made its home in the river near Taree for almost 12 weeks.
   NPWS deputy director Alastair Howard said rescue officers would
use a revoutionary whale harness made by the Sea World aquarium on
the Queensland Gold Coast.
   The attempt will be made tomorrow or Tuesday.
   "The cradle is made up of soft mesh floating between two
eight-metre rubber pontoons and has been designed by Sea World to
rescue animals as large as a 30-tonne humpback whales," he said.
   "The service had hoped that such intervention would not be
necessary, but after 11 weeks in the Manning River and several
attempts by the whale to return to the ocean on its own, we have
little choice."
   Mr Howard said concerns about the whale's health were growing
daily and it was vital to get the whale back to its natural
environment.
   Little was known about the whale and rescue officers were not
sure how long it could survive in the river.
   Earlier attempts to free it failed and the NPWS was concerned
the whale appeared to have lost weight and was becoming a little
sluggish.
   Last month, the NPWS used boats and chimes in an effort to guide
the whale through the channels at the river mouth and out to the
sea.
   The whale, of sex unknown, had swum 12 kilometres from Taree to
the mouth of the river when it sighted the sandbars where it became
stranded three months ago.
   The 10-metre young whale panicked and swam under the guide boats
and headed up the river.
   The NPWS believes the use of the pontoon tomorrow will provide
the best hope of returning the animal back to its natural
environment.
   Mr Howard said the rescue of the whale would take place in
shallow water to reduce the risks of stressing the animal.