Australia rescuers refloat stranded young whale

Marine rescue workers attempt to help a juvenile humpback whale stranded at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, in Queensland on 9 July 2014 Rescuers spent two days working to return the whale to the sea

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Rescuers have managed to free a young whale stranded on a beach in Queensland, Australia, for two days.

The whale, thought to be a two-year-old humpback, beached on Palm Beach south of Brisbane late on Tuesday.

Rescuers had made several attempts to refloat the juvenile whale. Early on Thursday, it was fitted with a special harness and towed out to sea.

A marine official said she was "cautiously optimistic" that the whale would now survive.

"It's been through quite an ordeal," Tacha Mulligan, the marine animal supervisor at Queensland's Sea World marine park, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Rescuers would continue to monitor the whale during the day, she said.

Marine rescuer workers try to rescue a humpback whale beached at Palm Beach on Queensland's Gold Coast on 9 July 2014 Experts said the mammal was a two-year-old humpback
A Queensland parks and wildlife ranger swims with a towing harness to attach to a humpback whale beached at Palm Beach on Queensland's Gold Coast on 9 July 2014 A harness was used to pull the whale off the sand and into deeper water

Five previous attempts to return the whale to the sea had ended in failure.

Humpbacks migrate north from Antarctica to warmer waters off Queensland in winter. Beachings happen from time to time but experts do not know what causes them.

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