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Nova Scotians band together to save beached whale

Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Monday, January 1, 2018, 4:21 PM - Nothing like starting 2018 with a good deed.

That's exactly what these Nova Scotians did on Rainbow Haven Beach in the community of Cow Bay, N.S., Monday morning after finding a pilot whale had beached itself.

CBC reports a group of about 100 people came together to rescue the whale amid temperatures in the minus double digits. Some volunteers used water to keep the cetacean hydrated, while others dug a path to the water, according to the news agency.

LOOKING AHEAD: Check back on January 3 for a look ahead at what we can expect for the first month of 2018 and beyond. Will the polar vortex continue to dominate or will we see an extended January thaw?

Shortly after the Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) responded. They were able to get the whale out to sea with an inflatable raft.

Dressed in wetsuits, CBC reports eight people helped to guide the whale to a reef where it got stuck on sandbars a couple of times.

However, after a few attempts, the whale was pushed out into the water successfully.

While rescuers are unsure if the whale will survive, the immediate assistance by those who volunteered will certainly increase the whale's survival chances, according to Andrew Reid, response co-ordinator for MARS.

"It's unusual for a pilot whale to be by itself," he told CBC. "They're extremely social species, so when we get single, stranded animals, it is always a concern that there's an underlying health issue."

Reid checked the whale's vitals and all seemed fine. He hopes it will eventually find its pod.

"It's a pretty amazing experience," volunteer Jen Jackson told CBC. "It's pretty cool to see all kinds of people just helping and doing anything they can to save this mammal."


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