Baby whale euthanised on Qld beach

Laura Polson
1 / 3
People are working to save a beached humpback whale calf on the Sunshine Coast.

A stranded newborn humpback whale on a Sunshine Coast beach in Queensland has been euthanised.

Rescue efforts to save the three-metre whale went for hours at Warana Beach, with more than 20 residents, a vet and Environment and Heritage Protection agency officers working to save the calf.

Resident Brad Leech said a line was started with people running buckets of water to the whale, which was shaded under a gazebo.

"The whale looked to be doing OK, with movements of joy every time water was poured over (it)," Mr Leech said.

Sea World experts attended the scene, where it was decided the whale would be euthanised.

"We will sedate it so it won't feel anything. The sedation itself might even cause the animal to expire," Vet David Blyde said.

Resident Tony Isaacson was tasked with looking for the whale's mother by standing on a sand dune at the beach.

He said volunteers were told "to take whatever moments they need to say goodbye".

"Be at peace Warana Babe," he wrote on Facebook.

A statement from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said 30,000 humpbacks are migrating along the Queensland coast this year, including an estimated 3000 newborns.

"As with any wild population, some naturally caused deaths are to be expected, and some of these will, unfortunately, be calves," the statement detailed.

An EHP spokesperson explained whale calves separated from their mothers are more likely to become stranded.

"Separation can be due to natural causes such as premature birth, shark attacks, or illness. Human causes include boat strikes and net or line entanglements."

EHP warned stranded whales should be reported immediately and people need to be wary of coming too close, due to disease and the risk of sharks in shallow waters.