Rangers and marine experts have been unable to save a beached baby whale on Fraser Island.
They had been nursing the young humpback for more than 30 hours, and had hoped that a looming high tide would save the stranded mammal.
Unfortunately, when it reached high tide the animal was too exhausted to move.
Late yesterday experts were relatively positive about the whale's chance of survival.
"If you don’t keep shade on it and keep it wet, then the skin is going to start disintegrating and then the animal is going to be in big trouble and then there’s no point in trying to rescue it at all," Maryborough vet Grant Belonje said.
"The veterinarian down at Seaworld, spoke to me on the phone just now and he said it’s actually in exceptionally good condition so we should give the little guy a chance."
The eight-metre juvenile became stuck late yesterday during its migration north and rangers don't know whether or not it was herded in by a pack of sharks, which were circling the shallows on Wednesday morning.
A high tide helped push it on shore - the scene attracted a big crowd and plenty of sympathy.
Many of the Fraser Island tourists have never seen a whale up close, wishing their first encounter was in better circumstances. Some volunteers who were hungry to offer assistance were turned away because of the delicate nature of the operation.