Whale Rescue Attempt-Australia

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Mon, 13 Nov 1994 08:59:47

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From: WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org
Subject: Whale Rescue Attempt-Australia
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 12-NOV-1994 18:44:03.34
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Subj:	WHALE BREAKS THROUGH NET
 
Date:         Sat, 12 Nov 1994 12:57:00 UTC
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
Subject:      WHALE BREAKS THROUGH NET
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To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
 
WHALE BREAKS THROUGH NET TO ELUDE RESCUERS
 
   SYDNEY, Nov 12 AAP - A whale trapped in a river on the New South
Wales north coast displayed an unusual burst of strength this
morning when it bolted through rescuers' nets, foiling another
attempt to return it to the open sea.
   The 10-tonne, nine-metre whale has been trapped in the Manning
River near Taree for almost three months, despite several attempts
to help it swim back to sea.
   Rescuers will decide today whether to continue with their
attempts to free the mamal.
   Brian Davies, spokesman for the National Parks and Wildlife
Service (NPWS) said rescuers thought the operation was going
swimmingly, but the whale had different ideas.
   "It was not interested in staying within the nets," Mr Davies
said.
   "We shot the nets in a perfectly executed operation, not a
glitch, not a snag ... then it ploughed like a missile through the
outer net.
   "It's gone back upstream and it's been seen another five or
seven kilometres further up the river cruising along, occasionally
bursting into speed."
   Mr Davies said the whale was not injured in this morning's
escape, but left a hole in one of the nets.
 The nets were positioned about 100 metres apart along the
riverbank and about 40 metres out into the river.
   Rescuers have been concerned about the whale's health, but Mr
Davies said evidence was inconclusive.
   "On the strength of its performance today you'd be pressed to
say it's a seriously disabled whale," he said.
   "But that's not to say it's in good condition."
   Rescuers now believe the whale, nicknamed Willie by the media
and Pimpernel by the NPWS, is not prepared to tackle the sandbank
to the open sea because it recollects previous failed attempts to
cross the bar.
   Experts from Sea World on the Gold Coast and NPWS scientists
were meeting this morning to discuss whether to pursue other plans
to save the whale, or whether to abort the operation.
   Today's attempt about 6.45am was the third time this week
rescuers had tried to free the whale.
   At the beginning of the week their efforts were hampered by
strong winds and the whale's failure to cooperate with rescuers.