Buenos Aires Times

argentina MAR DEL PLATA

Desperate attempt to save stranded whale in Mar del Plata fails

In a desperate attempt to keep the whale alive, Mar de Plata residents joined the effort to save its life.

Monday 9 April, 2018
Members of the Naval Prefecture and volunteers work on rescuing a stranded humpback whale in Mar del Plata.
Members of the Naval Prefecture and volunteers work on rescuing a stranded humpback whale in Mar del Plata. Foto:AP-Pablo Hugo Funes

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A humpback whale stranded on the coast sadly died on Monday, despite a round-the-clock rescue effort over the weekend that drew in dozens of volunteers.

The whale swam aground Saturday in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, the popular tourism destination about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital.

Rescuers and conservationists had been digging around the six-tonne whale with heavy machinery and using a crane to lift it and improve its hydration.

In a desperate attempt to keep the whale alive, Mar de Plata residents joined the effort, dousing the 10-metre-long (33-foot-long) animal with water and covering it with moist cloths.

Coastguards designed a special harness that rescuers had planned to use to try to pull the whale back into the ocean using a tugboat.

"We want to thank all those people who collaborated without wanting anything in return, the coastguards, everyone who helped," said Gisela Giardino, a biologist at the University of Mar del Plata.

- AP

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