Australia (9/2/2010)

About this page…

  • Date: 2010-09-02
  • Location: Princess Royal Harbor, Western Australia
  • Species: Humpback whale
  • Category: Euthanization

A stranded humpback whale was euthanized via an explosive charge. The sick 31-foot, 12-ton whale had been stuck in Princess Royal Harbor in southwestern Australia for two weeks. Authorities imposed a 1-km exclusion zone around the whale before detonating a charge directly above the whale’s brain. Officials planned to bury the carcass.

September 02, 2010 12:34PM

Stranded whale in Albany’s Princess Royal Harbour euthanased

EXPLOSIVES have been used to euthanase a sick humpback whale that was stranded on Western Australia’s south coast for two weeks.

The stricken juvenile 9.5m humpback was euthanased today, by a lethal explosion to the brain.

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) officers led by Albany district manager Mike Shepherd had been monitoring the whale’s condition during the last two weeks and took the decision to euthanase the animal after it re-positioned itself on a sandbar.

“Our main priority has always been to treat this animal as humanely as possible while nature took its course.

“In the last 24 hours the whale moved a couple of metres from its original stranding position, which was enough to stabilise the whale so that we could carry out the preparations for a controlled implosion to the whale’s cranium,” Mr Shepherd said.

“This was not an option that was available to us until now as the animal, even while terminally sick, was still strong enough to present a serious safety risk to DEC staff and volunteers.”

Arrangements have been made to remove the carcass this afternoon.

Any sightings of stranded or entangled whales should be reported to DEC’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

© 2010 Perth Now

Source: Perth Now
Date: 2010-09-02
URL: original link

September 2, 2010 – 6:23PM

Stranded whale blown up

Katherine Fenech

A humpback whale left stranded on an Albany beach for two weeks has been euthanised through a “humane” blast to the head.

The 9.5 metre, juvenile humpback whale had been stuck on a sandbar in the Princess Royal Harbour since August 19, when Department of Environment and Conservation officers said it was too big to be shot.

They had planned to let the 12-tonne whale die a natural death because of its size but the Department’s Albany district manager Mike Shepherd had monitored its condition and decided to euthanise the animal after it re-positioned itself on a sandbar.

The implosion method was approved by the International Whaling Commission as a humane method to be used on whales larger than 7 metres and death is instantaneous.

“Our main priority has always been to treat this animal as humanely as possible while nature took its course,” Mr Shepherd said.

“In the last 24 hours the whale moved a couple of metres from its original stranding position, which was enough to stabilise the whale so that we could carry out the preparations for a controlled implosion to the whale’s cranium.”

He said the option wasn’t available previously because even though the whale, which was between one and two years old, was terminally sick, it was still strong enough to be a safety risk to humans.

The carcass will be removed from the harbour this afternoon.

© 2010 WA Today

Source: WA Today
Date: 2010-09-02
URL: original link

11:12am UK, Thursday September 02, 2010

Blown Up: Stranded Whale Is Put To Death

Andy Jack, Sky News Online

A terminally ill whale that had become stranded near an Australian harbour has been blown up by authorities.

The 31-foot-long juvenile humpback, weighing more than 12 tons, had been stranded near Albany’s Princess Harbour on Western Australia’s south coast for more than a week.

Officers from the local department of environment and conservation (DEC) had been monitoring the whale’s condition and took the decision to put the animal to death after it re-positioned itself on a sandbar.

Ian Woods, Sky’s Australia correspondent, said the authorities used around half a kilo of gelignite packed onto the whale’s head with sandbags.

The operation was led by Mike Shepherd, who said: “In the last 24 hours the whale moved a couple of metres from its original stranding position, which was enough to stabilise the whale so that we could carry out the preparations for a controlled implosion to the whale’s cranium.

“This was not an option that was available to us until now as the animal, even while terminally sick, was still strong enough to present a serious safety risk to DEC staff and volunteers.

“Our main priority has always been to treat this animal as humanely as possible while nature took its course.”

Arrangements are being made to remove the carcass. It could be towed out to sea or buried on the beach, depending on conditions.

Explosives have been used on several occasions in the past to euthanise whales, DEC said.

Because its officers were working in a metre of water and because stranded whales are attractive to sharks, a spotter plane flew overhead to monitor shark activity.

© 2010 Sky News

Source: Sky News
Date: 2010-09-02
URL: original link

Thu Sep 2, 2010 3:28pm AEST

Stranded whale to be blown up in harbour

Authorities will this afternoon use an explosive charge to euthanase a 9.5-metre humpback whale stranded on Western Australia’s south coast.

The whale has been stranded in Albany’s Princess Royal harbour for two weeks.

The sick whale, which has been resting on a sandbar in shallow water, is deemed too large to shoot.

The Department of Environment and Conservation says sandbags will be placed over the whale’s head.

A one-kilometre exclusion zone will be placed around the whale while it is euthanased.

A helicopter will be sent out to scan the harbour for sharks in case of a feeding frenzy.

© 2010 ABC News

Source: ABC News
Date: 2010-09-02
URL: original link

September 2, 2010

Princess Royal Harbor Exploding Whale – 2010

© 2010 Perth Now

Source: Perth Now
Date: 2010-09-02
URL: original link