Baby humpback whale euthanized after washing up at Australian beach

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-08 11:05:04|Editor: Liangyu
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SYDNEY, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- After washing up on an Australian beach, a baby humpback whale was euthanized on Tuesday at Queensland's Moreton Island.

The four-meter long baby whale displayed injuries that were consistent with being struck by a boat, and after being separated from its mother, was put down in order to spare it from any further suffering.

Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles was saddened by the events, saying that more needs to be done to ensure that people on boats stay away from these majestic sea mammals.

"It's devastating to have to put down a whale because people have ignored the distance rules, come too close and hit this whale with their boat," Miles said in a statement.

"This incident should be a clear message to everyone to keep their distance from passing whales."

This latest incident comes days after two fishermen had their boat struck by a separate humpback whale, that resulted in two men being knocked unconscious, and the four-man crew hospitalized.

Back in June, another juvenile humpback whale was euthanized after coming ashore on the New South Wales coast in similar circumstances, and at the time, marine rescue organization Orrca's vice president Shona Lorigan said that these young whales are usually attempting to make their migration from Antarctica after being weaned by their mothers.

"It's quite a long and arduous journey," Lorigan said.

"If an animal is in poor health, or if it's weaker, then the time it will get into trouble is when it's making that huge journey."