After 20 hours of work, a stranded orca whale was successfully returned to the ocean on a beach in Nueva Atlantis, Argentina.
The incredulous rescue was made that much more difficult by a number of factors. The whale weighed four tonnes so it was largely impossible to move in the shallow water.
Additionally, the extreme cold made the task much more challenging for rescuers.
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Nonetheless, members of the Fundacion Mundo Marino and the Civil Defence banded together to make sure the magnificent creature survived. Unilad reported on how they eventually got through.
Locals who discovered the creatures initially observed two whales had been washed up. Unfortunately, one had already died.
It was up to the determination of rescuers to make sure the other whale did not suffer the same fate. They had to ensure that the orca's blowhole stayed above water so that the animal would not drown.
To do this, the rescuers straightened up the whale as it had arrived on shore sideways. Then, Karina Alvarez said they "managed to lift the animal with a harness and move it to a deeper area."
The Foundation member and biologist explained that:
"The orca was not injured and did not suffer from hypothermia, however, if it had been in the sun it would have died due to the time it spent out of the water."
So after the intense effort, things turned out perfectly fine for the lone orca.
"Once it had recovered from muscular cramps, the orca began to flap its tail and move out to sea."
Back in August, some whale watchers had an easier experience when they witnessed a whale jump out of the water right in front of them before diving back in.
The incredible event left those on the small boat soaked but also thrilled at seeing the once in a lifetime occurrence up close and personal.
And in early June, a family was shocked by the marvelous creature as another whale breached the waters directly in front of them.
They also got thoroughly doused due to the splash the large animal made as it re-entered the water.