Baby humpback beached on Oregon shore will be euthanized

Update (08/15/19 12:10 p.m.) – KGW reports a young humpback whale trapped on an Oregon beach will be euthanized. Officials hoped they could wait until high tide could take the whale back out to sea, but the whale’s condition was poor enough they decided to sedate it, then euthanize.

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Original story: WALDPORT, Ore. (KGW) – A juvenile humpback whale that stranded itself on the beach near Waldport, Oregon could not be returned to the sea during an early morning high tide Thursday.

Rescuers will assess the situation again at daybreak.

They are keeping people away from the whale until the tides can rise. They are hopeful that the whale will be able to swim back into the ocean on its own.

The next high tide in Waldport is about 2:50 Thursday afternoon, a foot lower than the 1 a.m. high tide that still left the whale beached.

If it cannot swim back in the high tide it may need to be euthanized, according to Bruce Mate, the Director of the Maine Mammal Institute.

“People will just automatically say, ‘well I’ll come down and help you push it off,’ but this animal weighs over a ton and is flopping around,” said Mate. “One karate chop from a pectoral flipper or hit from a fluke, it could very seriously injure somebody.”

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