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Locals learn how to help beached whales

Whale first-aid workshop at Torquay Beach, presented by Jeannie Lawson, shows how to carry a whale or dolphin to the waters edge.
Whale first-aid workshop at Torquay Beach, presented by Jeannie Lawson, shows how to carry a whale or dolphin to the waters edge. Alistair Brightman

IMMEDIATELY pushing a stranded whale back into the ocean isn't always the best option, as volunteers learned at a "whale first aid" workshop this weekend.

AS part of Hervey Bay's Whale Festival, marine naturalist Jeannie Lawson has hosted a workshop teaching about 15 people what to do when they come across a stranded whale.

"There are plenty of reasons why pushing a stranded whale straight back into the water can be dangerous for the animal," Ms Lawson said.

"It's important to call the authorities and keep people and dogs away from the whale because they are distressed enough as it is being on the beach."

Local wildlife rescuer Toni West who attended the workshop said she was surprised by some of the rules of whale rescue.

"I'm doing this to expand my knowledge base so in the event that we do get a stranded whale in Hervey Bay there will be a couple of people in town who know what to do."

 

Whale first aid

 - Cover the animal's back with sheets

 - Do not cover the blowhole or pour water down it.

 - Do not use the flippers, tail or fin as handles.

Topics:  hervey bay, whale festival, whales



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