SANTIAGO – The Chilean National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA) and the Chilean Navy managed on Tuesday to return a Sei whale to the sea, after it was found beached on Chiloe Island, in the south of the country.
The rescue work began in the early afternoon with the hydration of the whale using wet towels and a water pump, and at same time the team made furrows in the sand to help the animal – a young whale weighing about two tons – return to the sea when the tide rose, a SERNAPESCA official told EFE.
In addition, a thick fishing net was put around the body of the whale and a motorboat would help drag it to the sea “in a delicate and moderate way,” the head of the Protected Species Rescue and Conservation Unit of SERNAPESCA, Mauricio Ulloa, told EFE.
When the tide rose, “after a few minutes, it began to swim spontaneously and went into the sea, and was monitored until nightfall by the Navy and SERNAPESCA for possible re-stranding,” Ulloa added.
British oceanographer Susannah Buchan told EFE that the cause of the whale’s stranding could be confusion of the whale, as it was so young.
She added that it is a coastal area where the tides can rise very high and dip extremely low.