Malaysia: Stranded baby whale rescued by marine cops, fire brigade and villagers in team effort

muguntan vanar The Star 28 Jan 18;

KOTA KINABALU: A baby whale that was stranded in shallow waters close to Sabah’s east Lahad Datu town was safely pushed back to open sea as firemen, marine policemen and ordinary folks got together in a collective effort to rescue it.

The whale weighing at least 400kg with a length of 4.5m was slowly pushed out of the shallow waters till it was brought out to deep sea about three-kilometres away.

“It just swam away from our view. I believe it is safe now,” Lahad Datu Fire and Rescue Services Station head of operations Mazran Mohammad Noh said.

He said the whole operation was completed about five hours after they received a call from the public at about 10.06am on Sunday (Jan 28) stating that the whale was stuck in knee deep waters near Lahad Datu POIC container port area.

“Eventually, we used a boat to trawl the whale into open sea,” he said, adding the operations involving five firemen and 10 marine policemen apart from members of the public ended by 2.17pm.

It’s a big fish, it’s a whale … nope, it’s a dolphin
stephanie lee The Star 29 Jan 18;

KOTA KINABALU: The “big fish” that was stranded along the coast of Lahad Datu on Sunday is actually a dolphin and not a baby whale as reported earlier.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the dolphin, which may have been mistaken as a baby whale by rescuers due to its size, has yet to return to the open sea.

“We tried bringing it further from the shore on Sunday after it was spotted but it returned (to the shore) not long after,” he said on Monday.

He said the dolphin was spotted early in the morning and rescuers, including marine police and firemen, tried to bring it out to the open sea.

“However, it returned late in the evening,” Tuuga said, adding they found some minor injuries on the dolphin but were not sure how it got them.

He said rescuers would try to return the stranded dolphin to the open sea again on Monday.

He said apart from the minor injuries, the dolphin looked healthy and that efforts were being undertaken to send it off again.

“We hope it will return to where it belongs and not come up near the shore again,” Tuuga said.