Lost whale calf bonds with yacht

August 18, 2008 1:12:30 PM PDT
Australian media say a lost humpback whale calf has bonded with a yacht it seems to think is its mother.The 1- to 2-month-old calf was first sighted Sunday in waters off north Sydney, and on Monday tried to suckle from a yacht, which it would not leave.

Rescuers have towed the yacht out to sea, and the calf has finally moved away from the boat. But it's still swimming nearby.

The calf appears exhausted but rescuers hope it will continue out to sea and search for its mother or another pod of whales.

"The outlook is not good, but we are giving the calf its only option," National Parks and Wildlife regional manager Chris McIntosh said. "It can't be fed, and in fact we wouldn't know what to feed it."

He says that is because the whale is not weaned.