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Beached Whale Put to Sleep
5:26am 16th April 2013
(Updated 5:26am 16th April 2013)
A pilot whale which beached at Falmouth has had to be put down.
The creature was spotted by walkers on Castle Beach this morning.
But despite the best efforts of rescuers and vets it was too ill to survive being put back in the water.
Dave Jarvis from the British Divers Marine Rescue team said: "To lose something as precious as a pilot whale is heartbreaking. If there was something we could do we would do it. But at the end of the day the animal is there and is going to suffer in silence, so we need to do something about it."
"It's got no muscle mass to swim so if we put it back in it will just sink and drown and we will probably just find the body back on the beach in the morning. There's been no other sightings of pilot whales in this area so obviously this one's lost the rest of its family as well."
Local Paula watched things unfold with her son: "I first came on to Beach Road and I saw a lady leaving her car with a lot of towels so I went to have a look because I walk this way all the time and I saw a lot of towels on the beach and lots of people collecting water and throwing water on a pilot whale."
A postmortem will be carried out on the creature on Tuesday.
Ruth Williams from Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: "They usually strand for a reason and quite often in pilot whales if the animal is poorly, if it's diseased or if it's not able to cope with the main pod it will strand.
"Thankfully other members of the pod haven't followed suit - just a single pilot whale. But it's still very sad."
5:26am 16th April 2013
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