Sanctuary team praise all involved in ‘remarkable’ sperm whale rescue

A couple who have spent 30 years caring for creatures in need have praised everyone involved in this week’s sperm whale rescue.

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary’s Jan and Pete Bevington said the successful operation was a “remarkable achievement”.

The 45-fooot whale had spent almost a week in Whiteness Voe amid growing concerns it could end up beached on the Nesbister shoreline.

But a volunteer-led rescue mission on Tuesday and Wednesday managed to encourage the giant mammal safely into deeper water.

In a letter to The Shetland Times, Mr and Mrs Bevington said: “Like so many other people in Shetland and further afield, even around the world, we watched this incident unfold with our hearts in our mouths.

“We were not alone in believing the whale had come into the voe to die, so we were overjoyed when it started to stabilise and show signs that it was a healthy whale after all.

“At the same time we realised it would be a great challenge to encourage such an enormous creature safely out into deep water.

“It was wonderful to observe the way this delicate operation was handled with such care and professionalism by the wildlife experts onshore and the boatmen at sea.

“It was a fantastic example of teamwork and collaboration and could not have been a clearer demonstration of how good the Shetland community is at pulling together in a crisis situation like this.

“We were proud to witness the whole affair. Well done everyone involved.”

Hugh Harrop of Shetland Wildlife has also praised the volunteers’  “successful and immense” effort.


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