Whale carcass removed amid shark fears

2012-10-08 16:25

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.


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.

  • leroy.reynolds.353 - 2012-10-08 16:44

    we will now have to stop all sardines during thier run as there are shark fears in this time period. what a joke! How many anilmals can have a meal from that! what are those people going to do with the body of a whale!

      harry.stadler - 2012-10-08 17:03

      They are takinh it to a waste disposal facility. Simply going to dump it.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-10-08 17:10

      Seafood braai. Capricorn Beach. Bring your own drinks and salad only. Meat will be provided. PS. Anyone know where we can get a big bag (or two) of charcoal?

  • sook.nav - 2012-10-08 17:42

    Are we now going to catch the seals and penguins in the area and remove them too? Why interfere with an ecosystem in which we are the intruders?

  • anthony.m.arthur - 2012-10-08 18:57

    Why move the sharks food source? When will we humans stop messing with nature and just let things be? If some fool gets bitten by a shark in the area near the whale, so be it. Stay out of the water when sharks are feeding. A very simple concept. DA can really be a bunch of idiots at times, wonder why i bother to vote for them.

  • michael.holliday2 - 2012-10-08 19:30

    they should have removed it out to see rather than out of the water. The sharks there were attracted to its scent will now have to look at new prey opportunities rather than the whale. whats the next biggest thing in the sea in abundance....US. the logic of some people. take it out to sea where the scent will attract the sharks away from the beaches.

  • amanda.matthews.14811 - 2012-10-08 19:56

    So ridiculous to remove the source of the shark's natural prey. So little fish left in the sea for the sharks to feed on too. Well I guess that for this ill thought out decision there will be a consequence. Hungry sharks close in shore looking for a change in diet. Humans could now well be on the menu. Idiots.

  • preshen.govender.90 - 2012-10-08 21:13

    free buffet

  • smitlizanne - 2012-10-09 08:26

    Dom poepholle!! Laat die haaie die walvis op eet! Gan die walvis nou net op die strand le en vrot? Gooi dit terug ini water en laat die haaie eet!

  • anthony.m.arthur - 2012-10-10 18:50

    Actually elize.kunz i happen to know quite a bit about this type of issue. I come from Cape Town and worked on a Natal beach for a few years as a life saver. So this is not the first incident i have seen where humans disturb the normal cycle of life in the ocean for no natural reason at all other than our own bit of discomfort or loss of profit or possible loss of voters. You mention pollution and the smell but nature will eventually break this carcass down and nothing will remain. But you seem to be perfectly happy with all the man made chemical and human waste pollution that is pumped into the sea, which causes more damage that any number of whale carcases will ever cause. If it is to do with pollution then stop all polluting of the sea and not just this one carcass. Surely man made pollution is a much bigger health issue than this. The only reason i mentioned the DA is because they got some bad publicity a few months ago with the shark attack and the film crew from National Geographic being given a license to chum. I still believe the filming and attack where not related but the DA seems to now be overreacting to any possible shark indecent occurring again and have made a poor decision here.

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