Whale of an effort to save humpback

Conservationists and volunteers in Argentina struggled to save a humpback whale at the weekend, after the animal got stranded in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, about 400km south of Buenos Aires.

Sadly, despite their round-the-clock rescue effort, the six tonne whale died on Monday.

The 10m-long cetacean, said to be about three to four years old, was spotted by locals last Saturday.

Rescuers tried using a crane to lift it and improve its hydration, reported the Washington Post. Volunteers pitched in as well, wetting the animal with water and covering it with damp pieces of cloth.

The coast guard even designed a special harness to pull the whale back into the ocean using a tugboat.

Canadian news site Global News said that conservationists were unsure why the mammal had swum aground. They hope blood tests will throw some light on the humpback's health and probable cause of beaching.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'Whale of an effort to save humpback'. Print Edition | Subscribe