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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Minke whale escapes from harbour
whale leaves the harbour - pic by T. Keith Bruce
The whale finally escaped out to sea after three days
A young minke whale stranded in Fraserburgh Harbour for three days has made it back out to sea.

The whale is thought to have become separated from its mother after following a fishing boat.

Members of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) used small boats to try to move the whale using noise.

The same method had been used without success on Thursday. Hundreds of people lined the quayside as rescuers tried to guide the whale back to sea.

minke whale
Adult minke whale are usually between 7m and 10m long
They weigh about 350kg at birth and between five and 10 tonnes when adult
They can be quite solitary animals and can stay under water for 20 minutes
Minke whales can have black, brown or grey backs
Minke whales do not have teeth, but plates which sieve food such as fish and crustaceans
Minke whales have a double blowhole
Information courtesy of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)

Local people were urged to leave rescue attempts to the experts amid fears that the creature may become distressed.

Minke whales are regularly spotted in the Moray Firth but are not known to venture into port.

The team from BDMLR led the efforts to reunite the young whale with an adult which had been spotted outside the harbour.

Tony Woodley, of BDMLR, told the BBC Scotland news website that they had not wanted the whale to be there too long.

He said it had not seemed distressed but had probably not been feeding very much.

Minke whale in Fraserburgh Harbour [Pic: Kevin Hepworth]
The minke whale was in the harbour for three days

He said previously: "Attempts by a separate local group to use small boats to herd the young animal only pushed the whale further into the harbour after trained marine mammal medics from BDMLR had requested they should not attempt this risky action."

On Thursday afternoon a ship left from the inner harbour with underwater sonar turned on. The whale followed the ship - but not out to sea.

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Footage of the stranded minke whale in the harbour

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