Greece launches rescue operation to help trapped whale

A rescue mission to save a trapped whale was launched in Greece on Friday after the animal became stranded in shallow waters.

The coast guard, divers and vets were all called to the Alimos area of southern Athens in an effort to rescue the injured Cuvier’s beaked whale calf, according to The Associated Press. Tests carried out by officials revealed that the calf was in serious condition.

“The fact that it has appeared in shallow waters means it isn’t at all in good health. At this moment the animal is suffering,” Environment and Energy Deputy Minister Giorgos Amyras, who was at the scene, said, according to the AP.

He explained that specialized veterinarians, a veterinary nurse and four aid organizations were all called upon to help the whale, the news outlet noted.

The animal was reportedly severely injured in its lower jaw and sustained several superficial wounds to its body. The ministry also detailed that initial tests run on the calf found that it was severely dehydrated and had anemia as well as a low white blood cell count.

Rescuers administered electrolytes, medication and fluids to the whale as more tests were conducted, the AP reported.

The whale was first seen in shallow water on Thursday and divers were tapped to lead it back out to sea. Though that mission seemed to be successful at first, the whale returned to shallow waters on Friday, according to AP.

“The prognosis unfortunately isn’t good,” Amyras said, the AP reported, adding that deep water is the whale’s natural habitat. “The fact that it has been in these shallow waters for so many hours doesn’t give us much hope. But we of course are doing everything possible to save the animal, which is a Mediterranean species, a jewel of the Greek seas, and I hope it makes it and that we can help it.”