THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Rescuers called off attempts Thursday to save a humpback whale that beached itself on a sand bank off the northern Dutch coast, saying the animal is too weak to survive.
Experts from the marine wildlife center Ecomare said in a statement that a plan to drag the 12-meter (40-foot) whale into deeper water was scrapped because it is dying. Ecomare said it was a difficult decision not to attempt a resuce, but "it is in the best interests of the animal to let it die in peace."
It is unusual for humpback whales to become stranded along Dutch coast, though an increasing number of the marine mammals have been spotted in the North Sea in recent years. The whale beached itself on a sandbank near Den Helder, 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Amsterdam.