A remote Cape York town is desperately fighting to save the life of a young whale that became beached on the sand overnight.
A remote Cape York town is desperately fighting to save the life of a young whale that became beached on the sand overnight.

Cape York town fights to save beached whale

ABOUT 50 Pormpuraaw locals are fighting to save a whale stranded by a receding tide.

Last night the young whale became stranded on a beach at the remote Indigenous community 650km northwest of Cairns.

Director of the Pormpuraaw Arts Centre Paul Jakubowski said a group of concerned locals were dousing the animal in wet blankets and running buckets of water to the stricken mammal.

Pormpuraaw locals are fighting to save a beach whale that became stranded overnight. Picture: Paul Jakubowski
Pormpuraaw locals are fighting to save a beach whale that became stranded overnight. Picture: Paul Jakubowski


"(The tide) is still going out, it's quite a walk to get a bucket of water, it's 100 metres to the water," he said.

"There are 50 or 60 people and police, mostly women and children. I don't know where the blokes are."

The large animal has been stranded by a receding tide. Picture: Paul Jakubowski
The large animal has been stranded by a receding tide. Picture: Paul Jakubowski

Having lived in the community for 11 years, Mr Jakubowski said he had never seen a whale swimming in Western Cape York waters off Pormpuraaw.

"(And) it has never been recorded that a whale has ever been washed up on the shore," he said.

Despite efforts to save the whale Mr Jakubowski thought it unlikely the animal would survive.

"A massive tide, it's still going out. I would be surprised if it lived," he said.

The community and police have rallied to help save the whale. Picture: Paul Jakubowski
The community and police have rallied to help save the whale. Picture: Paul Jakubowski


Mr Jakubowski said any plan to rescue the whale with land-based machinery would be made impossible by deep mud exposed by a low tide.

"You would need a boat with a massive chain or tow rope, it would have to be kilometre long," he said.

 

Originally published as Cape York town fights to save beached whale


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