Locals hack up rotting whale carcass

2014-08-27 00:00

SOUTH Coast municipal officials are hoping the tide will wash out the rotting carcass of a Humpback whale.

The whale, which washed up at Palm Beach on Monday morning, has attracted scores of people eager to carve off a chunk of the meat for the cooking pot.

The Ugu District (UDM) and Hibiscus Coast (HCM) municipalities gathered yesterday to discuss how to dispose of the carcass.

Tony Davis, cleansing and waste management manager for the Port Edward area, said the tide was lifting and the carcass should be gone by this morning.

“Only 15% of the carcass is left, specifically the membrane and innards. The tide should wash it away tonight and I will follow up in the morning,” he said.

He said the beach had no vehicle access, so the carcass could not be disposed at HCM’s Oatlands dump. There was also no way to dispose of it on the beach.

Tom Prins, an eyewitness who spotted the whale on the beach, said as many as 50 people gathered to hack off bits of meat from the animal.

“The animal is being cut open and some of its intestines and other organs are washing onto the shore,” said Prins.

He said as a result there has been an unbearable smell emanating from the carcass. “It’s been a very warm week and the sun is causing the carcass to rot, which can be smelt 50 metres away.”

Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said it was illegal to be in possession of whale meat and penalties for this include jail time.

He said there was no way the carcass of a beached animal could be looked after overnight due to a lack of manpower.

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