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Hebrides News
Hebrides News: Minke whale


Rescuers hope a lost baby whale can be reunite with its mother in the Sound of Harris.

The infant Minke which was trapped in a small harbour at Leverburgh for the past four days is enjoying freedom after a large rescue operation on Thursday.  

But it is not out of danger yet as there is a risk it may not find its parent.

Rescue co-ordinator, Sandy Macdonald of the local branch of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR Outer Hebrides) said it was an infant whale and believes it still needs milk from its mother.

Ms Macdonald said: "It is very young and needs to be with its mother for another three months."

She said: "We have had sightings, for the past two days, of an adult Minke whale out in the open Sound of Harris and she is very stressed, circling and swimming up and down.

"She is showing a lot of agitation and we believe this is the mother."

Ms Macdonald hoped the whale's mother is "still out there" and the pair are able to communicate with each other.

She said volunteers would watch the coastline for the next few days and check if they have been reunited.

Earlier rescuers tried different techniques to get the infant Minke to freedom.

It was feared it would suffer if left any longer as there is no food available in the small harbour basin.

The calf, which is less than five metres long, was swimming around in circles close to reefs but repeatedly failed to enter the narrow breakwater channel exit.



Hebrides News: Minke whale rescue

Kayakers were strategically placed to prevent the whale from grounding while people on surfboards and swimmers attempted to coax it to open water.

Even young children helped by making deliberating making a noise to keep it away from the shore.

It led rescuers a merry dance around the harbour by swimming under the surf boards and popping up in unexpected places.

Numerous attempts to encourage it out were unsuccessful and boats were called out of the rescue as it seemed agitated by the sound or vibration of the engines.

Eventually, the whale was coaxed out of the harbour by surf boarders and swimmers in the afternoon but then caused a fresh scare by heading inshore towards a pier. It was guided towards open water in the Sound of Harris by rescuers.


Lost baby whale seeks its mother                9/8/12