Lost Baby Whale Mistakes Yacht for Its Mother, Later Put Down

Humpback whale tail photo

Photo credit: Getty Images

This is the most heartbreaking story we've read all week, and if the idea of a baby whale trailing after a yacht and trying to suckle from it doesn't make you go "awww," then that lump of muscle you call your ticker has been replaced by sheet rock. (And you should really get that checked out.)

The 1- to 2-month-old humpback whale calf, which Australians dubbed "Colin," was first spotted last week in waters off north Sydney clinging next to a yacht it had apparently mistaken for its mom. After rescuers towed the yacht out to sea, the calf—described by rescuers as being "exhausted"—finally detached from the boat but remained close by.
Although rescuers tried to lure the dazed and confused, not to mention endangered, calf out into the open sea, hoping it would continue its search for its mother or hook up with another pod of whales, Colin wouldn't budge. Even an aboriginal "whale whisperer" couldn't work his mojo.

Eventually, Colin, who in addition to not having eaten for a week suffered from shark bites and had trouble breathing, was given a sedative and then a lethal dose of anesthetic. The National Parks and Wildlife Service said in a statement that it had no way of feeding the Colin in captivity because it hadn't been weaned yet.

That's it, we're breaking out the hankies. Where was Hayden Panettiere when we needed her? ::CNN .com and ::BBC News
More on whales
Whale Hunting Ban Effective
Name That Whale, Quickly
Whale-Watching Report: Whales More Valuable Alive Than Dead
Send An Origami Whale From Greenpeace
Iceland Calls the Whale Thing Off
Whale Power: More Efficienct Fan Blades Mimic Humpback Fins
Whales Suffers From Loneliness Due to Over-Hunting, Might Lose Will to Live

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