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Sickly Baby Whale Destroyed

February 28, 1999

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ A newborn pygmy sperm whale found washed up on a beach on Australia’s east coast last week was killed Sunday after it became so ill it couldn’t eat.

Fisherman discovered the 35-pound, week-old female whale south of the town of Ballina on Thursday, and marine experts tried to feed it.

But on Saturday morning, the whale grew weak and began regurgitating its food, said Trevor Long, marine science manager at the Sea World marine park on the Gold Coast in Queensland state.

National Parks and Wildlife staff decided to put the animal down Saturday night.

``This calf was so young, underweight and undernourished it didn’t have much to fight with,″ Long said.

Pygmy sperm whales are usually found in deeper waters and it is believed the baby whale had washed up on the beach after becoming separated from its mother.

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