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Pilot whale dies after long ordeal

The pilot whale stranded at Basta Voe, on Yell, on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Iona Newton

A PILOT whale which stranded at Basta Voe in Yell a week after it was rescued from Vidlin has died.

 It passed away naturally on Thursday and a necropsy will take place on Friday by Andrew Brownlow of Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme to determine its cause of death.

The whale was first spotted in Vidlin on 17 July close to salmon cages by Scottish Sea Farms staff and Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary’s Jan and Pete Bevington were asked to help.

Two days later it was in danger of stranding and after the whale ended up being scared into Vidlin marina by a motorboat, it was eventually herded out into the mouth of the voe with the help of locals.

The pilot whale didn't show any signs of wanting to leave the voe after being reflected on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary

However, it was spotted again off Yell on Tuesday and it was circling near to the head of Basta Voe on Wednesday.

The Bevingtons found the whale after it had beached itself and while they managed to refloat it, it became stranded again as it was unable to swim.

Attempts were made on Thursday to find a vet to euthanise the whale, but it died naturally before anyone could attend.

Jan Bevington said: “We were very sad to see the whale we rescued from Vidlin Voe back circling close to shore in Basta Voe this week.

“When it stranded we decided we should give it another chance as it appeared to be strong enough, and may have just been confused in the shallows.

“However when we got it into deep enough water to swim and it showed no sign of wanting to leave the voe, we decided to leave it and stayed with it while it died. We’re looking forward to the results of the necropsy to determine the cause of death.”