Juvenile minke whale live-strands in County Mayo

7th Jun 2012

Conor McGuire and some friends were heading out for a days fishing in Clew Bay on 5th June when they encountered a 4-5m young minke whale that had somehow got trapped on the shingle at the edge of the shore. The video tells the story:  

These episodes usually end tragically as the animal becomes disorientated and stressed, so this record is particularly unusual.  Sometimes it is hard to avoid the temptation to jump in and get involved in coaxing the cetacean back into deeper water. But hats off to Conor and friends, who quite rightly gave the whale as much time as it needed to correct the situation.  That said, if this animal is in poor condition with an underlying illness, it may well restrand, but fingers crossed this won't occur.

We note with interest that this unusual event coincided with another unusual event off the Mayo coast, which was a category 4 earthquake about 30Kms offshore of the Mullet Peninsula.  IWDG will be keeping a close eye on the NW coast to see if there is any spike in unusual stranding events that may be linked to this seismic activity on 6th June.

Many thanks to Conor for both filming and forwarding the incident to IWDG.

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