Hopes slim for whale orphan that bonded with yacht

Other News Materials 19 August 2008 07:36 (UTC +04:00)

Marine scientists Tuesday held out little hope for a whale calf spotted nuzzling a yacht anchored off a Sydney beach after becoming separated from its mother, dpa reported.

The two-week old humpback stayed close when the yacht was towed out to sea in the hope that the mother would hear and respond to its calls.

National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman John Dengate said the outlook was bleak because the newborn calf was still reliant on its mother's milk.

"We can only hope that the little whale has found its mum or has found a female that can look after it, and there will be a happy ending," Dengate told national broadcaster ABC. "There's no guarantee another pod will have a lactating mother, and no guarantee it will accept it."