Explosives have been used to euthanize an ill humpback whale that washed up onto a sandbar off Western Australia’s south-west coast.
The 9.5-meter humpback whale became stranded off Albany two weeks ago.
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) had intended to let the whale die of natural causes but today decided to euthanize the animal with an explosive charge after it repositioned itself on a sandbar.
In a statement, DEC Albany district manager Mike Shepherd said the whale had moved a couple of meters from its original position, which was enough to stabilize it and kill it humanely.
“This was not an option that was available to us until now, as the animal, even while terminally sick, was still strong enough to present a serious safety risk to DEC staff and volunteers,” he said.