Dead young whale draws curious crowds at Toti beach

2014-08-01 00:00

A HUMPBACK whale carcass that washed up on Pipeline Beach in Amanzimtoti will be dissected today.

The eight-ton whale washed ashore yesterday and drew crowds in their hundreds to the beach.

Municipal officials and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officers will start the grim task of removing the carcass today, by cutting the animal into small pieces.

Early yesterday researchers had removed a portion of the whale’s tail for testing, in an effort to establish what caused its death.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson James Woods said the juvenile whale was discovered in the early hours of the morning.

“The animal was already dead when it was found and it is probably between four and five years old,” he said.

He added that sightings of Humpback whales were common off the coast of KZN, and that as the summer months approached the animals swam north to mating grounds near Mozambique.

“At this stage we have no idea why the animal died and an examination of it from the outside shows no obvious cause of death. They usually beach themselves when they are ill so I am sure that there is some underlying cause to this,” Woods said.

“Municipal officials will now have to remove the carcass from the beach and they will dissect the animal into small and manageable pieces. They will not use an explosive charge to blow it up, that would only be done with much bigger whales but this one is still relatively small.”

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