Australia Zoo Provides Assistance for Stranded Whale

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: November 20, 2020 9:40 pm

australia zoo whale rescue

The melon headed whale receives care from wildlife hospital staff

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Staff from the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital attended the stranding of a melon-headed whale on the Noosa North Shore in Queensland, Australia. The whale had been found in distress by a member of the public.

The stranding site was roughly one hour north of Australia Zoo. Here the team met rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers.

The emergency response team from Australia Zoo and Wildlife Warriors, including Robert Irwin, attended to assist the whale.

“We knew we had to respond straight away, strandings are incredibly stressful for whales and dolphins,” said Robert.

“Melon-headed whales commonly suffer from cetacean morbillivirus, an illness fatal to whales and highly contagious,” said Dr Rosie Booth, Chief-of-Staff at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. “Strandings of melon-headed whales are commonly due to cetacean morbillivirus.”

australia zoo whale rescue

The melon headed whale receives care from wildlife hospital staff

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Dr Booth and researchers from the Department of the Environment are currently working to understand this terrible disease by testing blood and tissue samples.

“The whale had been sick for some time. It was underweight, chronically sick and had minor shark bites due to its weak state,” said Dr Booth.

After an examination and consulting with marine mammal specialists it was unfortunately determined that the whale would need to be humanely euthanized.

“It’s incredibly sad to lose such a beautiful animal, but we’re glad she didn’t have to suffer alone on the beach,” he said.

australia zoo whale rescue

The melon headed whale receives care from wildlife hospital staff

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

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This is the third time that the Australia Zoo Wildlife hospital has treated a melon-headed whale.

“We’re so thankful to the public and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for their help. A whale stranding is incredibly emotional, and their support was great,” said Robert.

The rescue unit operates 24/7 year round to transport sick, injured and orphaned animals to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital where they can receive care. Recently the hospital treated its 100,000th patient.

Learn more about Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors on their website – Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

australia zoo whale rescue

The melon headed whale receives care from wildlife hospital staff

Photo Credit: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

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