Minke whale dies after being stranded at Karumba

STRANDED: A minke whale has died off the coast of Karumba. Photo: Robyn Smith
STRANDED: A minke whale has died off the coast of Karumba. Photo: Robyn Smith

A dwarf minke whale has died after being stranded on a sandbag in the Lower Gulf of Carpentaria.

The whale was stranded off the coast of Karumba on Wednesday and was alive.

Police worked with the Department of Environment and Science on options to assist the whale but with the tide heading out they were not confident of success.

Authorities tried to implement a plan to get off on the next high tide that evening but due to the heat of the day - maximum temperatures were just shy of 40 degrees Celsius - the whale died.

Dwarf minke whales are one of the smallest species of baleen whales and grow to nearly 9 metres long and about 10 tonnes in weight.

They feed mainly on krill or small schooling fish and is not endangered.

The dwarf minke whale is considered to be an oceanic species, however they are not restricted to deep water and have been recorded close to coasts most normally seen along the eastern Australian seaboard including the Great Barrier Reef.

This story Whale dies after being stranded on a sandbank in 40 degrees first appeared on The North West Star.