Published Tuesday, 17 September 2013
DOE staff helped the animal after it became stranded on the rocks. (© DOE Marine Division.)
The young pilot whale, thought to be between two and three months old, had been swimming in White Park Bay for over a week.
Given the age of the animal, it is believed it became separated from its mother which it would have depended on for food.
Department of Environment staff attended the scene and offered support to the stricken animal for 12 days.
However, on Monday, the animal became stranded on the rocks in Portbalintrae Bay and had to be put down.
A spokeswoman for the DOE explained: "DOE staff based on the north coast have been monitoring a very young Pilot whale which live stranded at White Park Bay 12 days ago."
Regrettably for this animal, given that it would be fully dependant on its mother at such an early stage in its life, the inevitable conclusion was that the animal would be unable to survive alone.
The spokeswoman added: "They have been monitoring the whale closely from the shore and by boat and high resolution photos had clearly shown that the animal was an unweaned calf, separated from its mother and severely emaciated."
"DOE staff at the outset made arrangements with a local vet, experienced in the euthanasia of whales, dolphins and porpoises, to be on standby should the animal re-strand.
"Around 5pm yesterday DOE staff were notified by a member of the public that the whale had stranded within Portballintrae Bay.
"The standby vet was immediately contacted and DOE staff stabilised and cooled the animal while the vet was en route.
"The Pilot whale carcass has now been removed and taken for post mortem."
The spokeswoman also thanked all the local residents in the area who provided assistance.
It is the second time a whale died after swimming into shallow waters in the north coast area in recent days.
On Saturday, a large Sei Whale died after it became stranded in the Red Bay area.
© UTV News