But the whale died at about 1900 GMT on Saturday as rescuers transported it on a barge towards deeper water in the Thames Estuary.The Observer reports from the scene where hundreds of Londoners and tourists were watching and cheering on the whale. From The Observer:
It was moved after being placed in a special pontoon near Battersea Bridge.
Alan Knight, from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) which led the rescue operation, said the animal died after it began to convulse while it was still on the barge.
It was quite another, 30 minutes later, one minute before noon, to watch it beached, so obviously distressed. To see its would-be rescuers, up to their necks at times in the Thames, attempting to pat, push, calm, to somehow convey the feeling that there was goodwill from man, while that great tail began to flap so frantically. Were we going to end up with happy children, perfect endings: were we going to free Willy? Or were we going to end up with - there's no great way to put this - two tons of dead blubber?The Telegraph has a nice graphic on how the rescue attempt unfolded. The whale's death is a sad end to a story that has captivated the hearts and minds of Londeners and the world. Gonzo may have died but hopefully its death teaches the world a lesson about how important these animals are. The northern bottlenose whale is an endangered species. We must do our best to protect not only the northern bottlenose whale but also other endangered animals from becoming extinct.
Previously: Free Gonzo!