Explosive charge to end stranded whale’s life in Western Australia

Wildlife officials in Australia are planning to euthanize a dying, stranded whale with an explosive charge directed into the creature’s brain. The 16-ton juvenile humpback whale has been stranded for five days in Jurien Bay in Western Australia and is believed to be either sick or injured.

Officials had originally planned to keep the whale as comfortable as possible and let it die on its own.

“The whale is so weak that it can’t be rescued and moving such a large animal is not possible without causing it significant damage and distress, and it is too big to euthanase,” [senior wildlife officer] Mr. Coughran said.

But five days later, the whale was still alive.

“It’s taking a while to die,” Mr. Coughran said. “What we’ve been doing is monitoring the process and now it’s getting to a stage where its condition is such that we can seriously consider efficient and instantaneous ways to euthanise it.”

Those in charge are “now looking to end the 10m animal’s suffering by detonating an explosive charge into its brain tomorrow morning [September 30].

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