Scientists dissect carcass of Kommetjie whale shark

2019-04-04 12:10

The cause of death of a whale shark found on Kommetjie beach earlier this week has not yet been established.

Associate professor Colin Attwood, from the University of Cape Town's marine ecology and fisheries department, performed a dissection of the carcass on Tuesday, a day after the animal washed up on Long Beach.

The examination took place at the Ocean and Coasts depot in Paarden Island, as the carcass was too large to house at UCT.

READ: Whale shark washed ashore in Kommetjie seemingly struck by boat

Despite early speculation that the animal had been killed by a ship, Attwood told News24 that the female whale shark of unknown age "looked healthy".

The stomach contents have, however, not been examined yet.

whale shark

"We have retrieved the stomach, but not opened it yet. This will be a big job, for some future date. It is currently in the DEA freezer," he told News24.

He added that this was his first opportunity to dissect a whale shark, despite one washing up on the same stretch of coast in the past.

Attwood said various tissue samples were taken and the head, tail liver, stomach and gill had been kept. The rest of the carcass was dumped.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cape town  |  marine life

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.