Sick whale fears turns good news story

March 1, 2012

It turned out to be a happy ending for two exotic animals that greeted a Gold Coast beach today.

Local fisherman reported seeing a distressed whale close to the shoreline near Snapper Rocks in Coolangatta early this morning.

Sea World director of Marine Sciences Trevor Long jumped in a boat with three other colleagues and sped straight towards Snapper Rocks at 7.30am.

''We thought it was a sick, distressed whale,'' he said.

''But it turned out to be a 15 metre southern right whale just splashing about enjoying the warm waters.''

Mr Long said it was uncommon to spot southern right whales off the Coast and said only six had been seen in the past seven years.

''The whale had come from the southern ocean from Antarctica.''

The playful whale was not the only focus of the morning as Mr Long said a rare bird, a Southern Giant Petrel, was seen watching the whale close by.

''The bird had also come from the same area as they breed in Antarctica,'' he said.

Mr Long said the Sea World team left the 40-tonne whale to enjoy the warm waters and returned back to Sea World shortly after.

''So what we thought was going to be a bad news story turned out to be good news," he smiled.


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