Beached pilot whale saved in Canada

Dec. 25, 2009 at 11:55 AM

YARMOUTH, Nova Scotia, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Fisheries officers helped move a beached pilot whale back into the water in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, officials said.

Marine Animal Response Society official Andrew Reid said the whale was found beached near Port Maitland this week and rescuers were able to return the large mammal to the water Thursday through the use of an improvised trench, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

After digging a trench and moving the whale into the trench with pontoons and a tarp, fisheries officers and volunteers were able to push the animal into the water, Reid said.

"We were out in the water for probably about an hour while it regained its strength. We deflated the pontoons and it initially swam toward the shore, which was a little bit concerning, but gradually turned back out to sea and swam out," he told the CBC.

Howard Blinn of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said there have been additional reports of beached pilot whales in the area.

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