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Rush to rescue stranded whale in Australia

Published on Jul 9, 2014 5:03 PM

GOLD COAST (AFP) - Australian authorities struggled to rescue a beached baby whale Wednesday and were forced to suspend the operation as fading light hampered efforts to return it to sea.

The whale, reportedly a two-year-old humpback, washed up on Palm Beach on the popular Gold Coast late Tuesday, with rescuers working for hours to try and free it.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Queensland beach to watch the rescue, which included fitting a specially-designed harness to the mammal as workers from marine park Sea World tried to coax it back into the water.

Rescuers were able to briefly return the whale to sea before it became stuck on a sandbar slightly further offshore.

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