Good Samaritans tried to keep a killer whale wet by pouring water on the animal after it became stranded on an Alaskan island this week, according to reports.
The 20-foot orca got stuck on rocks on the coast of Prince of Wales Island Thursday morning, apparently injured and making the calls the animals are known for, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
The crew of a passing ship pumped water onto the beached whale, which also got help from bystanders on foot and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the report said.
The massive mammal was eventually able to float away when the tide came up later that afternoon.
“Our officer and troopers report the whale was a bit slow at first, and meandered around a little before swimming away,” NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle told the newspaper.
The ship M/V Steadfast first reported the whale about 4-5 feet above the tide line, according to KTUU. Steadfast’s crew used a seawater pump to keep the animal wet and birds away, KTUU stated. People on foot jumped in to help as well, photos posted to social media show.
People standing around the beached whale threw water from buckets, a photo posted by Twitter user Tara Neilson showed.
“My niece Aroon is up here and found this stranded orca several miles from here,” she wrote.
“In all the years I’ve here I’ve never heard of seen anything like this,.” I have to wonder if the 8.2 #Earthquake was to blame. NOAA is on its way to try to save it.”
There was no evidence that linked the Wednesday earthquake to the whale’s beaching, NOAA’s spokeswoman told the News.
Officers eventually asked the good Samaritans to stay away for their own safety and to reduce the whale’s stress, according to the publication.
Experts identified the whale as T146D, who has been under observation and is estimated to be 13 years old, KRBD reported.