Whale carcass removed amid shark fears

Johannesburg – Authorities successfully recovered the carcass of a 30m southern right whale near Capricorn Beach in Cape Town on Monday, Cape Town's disaster risk management centre said.   

"The operation nearly took 18 hours and the disaster response teams had to wait for the tides to recede to successfully recover the carcass," said spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

An increase in shark activity along the False Bay coastline necessitated that the operations be sped up.

Additional crew members were deployed to assist with the operation while the marine unit of the law enforcement services and the solid waste management department were on stand-by to load the carcass and transport it to the Vissershok landfill site for disposal.

Attack


The whale was bitten several time several times by Great White sharks.

It was unclear whether the whale was alive when the great white sharks attacked it or whether it died as a result of illness.

"Predators don't usually 'face-off' as in a fight. A predator goes in quickly and quietly attacks the prey. Also, predators choose the ill, injured, young or old animals to hunt as they are easier to catch," said Solomon-Johannes.

Scientists from the department environmental affairs took samples off the carcass to perform a necropsy to be analysed in order to establish the cause of death.
 
The beaches between Muizenberg and Monwabisi will remain closed until the area has been cleared and declared safe.

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