Whale helped free by passers-by after getting stuck at Danish quayside

An 8-10 metre-long whale became stuck after straying into the Mariager Fjord waterway in northern Denmark on Tuesday.

Whale helped free by passers-by after getting stuck at Danish quayside
The whale swimming in the harbour in Hobro. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The whale became stuck near the marina at Hobro, where the water is just 1.5 metres deep, broadcaster DR reports.

After the whale stranded near the wharf, three passers-by jumped into the freezing November water to help free the aquatic mammal.

One of the three, 23-year-old Daniel Kristensen, spoke to DR after assisting the animal.

“There were a lot of people standing and watching and one person had jumped in, so it was a matter of helping out,” Kristensen said.

The 23-year-old was still shivering as he spoke to DR’s reporter, the broadcaster writes.

“You just have to do something. People were just watching and letting it die, and that’s a life being taken from the whale,” he said.

Ivar Høst, a local consultant with the Danish Nature Agency, told DR that the animal was most likely a northern minke whale, a common variety of baleen whale.

Around 156,000 such whales are estimated to be distributed across the North Atlantic region, but they are not normally found in Danish waters.

Tuesday’s rescue action is unfortunately unlikely to save the whale, according to Høst.

“It was a touching effort, but I very much doubt whether it will help in the long term,” he told DR.

“There is probably a reason why it got so far in, and that’s because it’s sick,” he said.

“We know from previous experiences that when we try to help whales get free, they often come back within a couple of days. We don’t know why, but they have a tendency to head towards land when they are sick,” he said.

The whale was swimming in the harbour area but was no longer stuck to the bottom, DR reported just before 4pm on Tuesday.

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Danish scientists to dissect humpback whale at aquarium parking lot

Researchers from Danish universities and the Natural History Museum are to participate in dissection of a humpback whale in Hirtshals.

Danish scientists to dissect humpback whale at aquarium parking lot
The whale after being brought to Skagen harbour. Photo: Scanpix

The seven-metre-long whale was found in a fisherman’s nets off Skagen on Monday and will be dissected in the parking area outside the North Sea Oceanarium in Hirtshals, the aquarium confirmed to local media Nordjyske.

Biologists and other experts are set to participate in the dissection and testing of the whale, which they hope will provide valuable new information about the animal’s interior.

Investigations will also include testing of a parasite found inside the dead whale.

Dissection will begin at 11am on Wednesday. The public is invited to come and watch the procedure, which will begin with around an hour's study of the animal's exterior before dissection begins, Nordjyske reports. 

The whale has been stored at low temperature since being brought to land at Skagen on Monday.

In addition to North Sea Oceanarium marine biologists, experts from the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg and from the University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University will take part in the investigations.

A taxidermist from the Natural History Museum will also be present.

READ ALSO: Whale dies after ten days lost in Danish harbour