Relief as whale helped back into the ocean, Hervey Bay care for wildlife praised

HERVEY BAY’s community spirit and care for wildlife is being lauded after a dwarf minke whale was helped back into the ocean after beaching near Urangan in the early hours of this morning.

Rangers use the rising tide to refloat a dwarf minke whale that was found stranded on a Hervey Bay beach.
PHOTO: George Seymour.

Reports that a whale was stranded at Shelly Beach were first received by Queensland National Parks around 6.15am.

The mammal was found on the beach when the tide was out – meaning there was no immediate way to refloat it and get it back into deeper water.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife team assessed the whale and – after consulting marine specialists – found it to be in a good condition.

Thank you to Breannah Mitchell from BM Film Productions for giving us permission to embed her video. CLICK THIS LINK to view her company Facebook – give it a like while you’re there!

A Dwarft Minke Whale had beached itself this morning. How beautiful are these massive creatures. I caught some footage of it this morning. What a great community effort. Two attempts were made to refloat the stranded distressed Minke Whale before it successfully was unbeached.

Posted by Breannah Mitchell on Thursday, 19 May 2022

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The team decided to wait until the tide came in so it could be refloated and guided back into the water.

Interest in the unusual sighting began to grow over the next few hours, with a steady flow of locals heading down to the beach to catch a glimpse of the action.

A small section of the beach was cordoned off to keep onlookers a safe distance away and not to cause the animal any additional stress.

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With a rising tide, the dwarf minke whale was eventually refloated and managed to swim off away from the shore on the third attempt.

Social media was abuzz with activity after the public holiday’s somewhat unexpected start.

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 Several Facebook users congratulated all those who helped the whale return to the water by acknowledging their “great team work.”

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Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour – who was in the water helping rescue efforts – shared a post saying the whale was back in the ocean and “hopefully we won’t see him back on the beach.”

Meanwhile, it’s unclear what caused the whale to beach.

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Queensland National Parks said there were different reasons why a whale could become stranded – including misadventure and poor health.

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You can report stranded marine wildlife – including whales – to QPWS by calling 1300 130 372.

Hervey Bay is considered the whale watching capital of the world – with thousands of humpback whales stopping over in the calm waters of the bay during their annual migration.

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