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Learning English - Words in the News
23 January, 2006 - Published 15:14 GMT
London whale rescue fails
London whale rescue attempt
Bottlenose whale rescue attempt

A whale that became stranded in the River Thames in London has died despite a big rescue effort. The whale was being taken by marine wildlife experts back to deeper water when it died. Mark Stevens was part of the rescue team:

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I was so touched by the way the people in London took to that animal and cheered it on. I just feel bitterly disappointed that we couldn't give them the result that they wanted. I feel that perhaps we got the result, hopefully, that the whale needed, and that's probably more important.

I cried. We all cried. We knew it was going to happen - we understand enough about the animal to know that it was suffering and we were preparing to put it to sleep, but before we could get the drugs ready, the animal died of its own accord. At that point we turned the lights out on the boat that we'd been using to see, and there were just groups of people hugging.

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emotional or moved

took to
began to like

cheered it on
encouraged it

bitterly disappointed
extremely unhappy

outcome, consequence

in pain or in distress

to put it to sleep
to kill it with an injection

of its own accord

moment in time


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