Beached whales saved in Kommetjie

2013-03-25 07:23

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2012-10-02 10:06

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Cape Town - Five beached whales that washed ashore at Long Beach in Kommetjie have been successfully rescued, the Cape City disaster Risk management said.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning, when the beached pod of 20 whales was discovered by members of the community.  It was unclear how long the marine mammals had been there.

Despite attempts by the NSRI to rescue the whales, five were declared dead after efforts to get them back into the water failed. Another nine had to be euthanized as they appeared to be suffering, the city said in a statement.

“These marine mammals were distressed and were breathing very rapidly. The marine scientists assessed the animals and indicated that they were very dehydrated.  Many of them sustained pressure injuries to their internal organs due to being out of the water for a considerable amount of time,” City of Cape Town spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.

The NSRI, assisted by the SA Navy, transported the five rescued whales from Long Beach to the Simon’s Town Naval Base on-board the SAS Indlovu tugboat and the SAS Tshuduku, where the marine mammals were taken into deeper water to increase chances of survival.

The Navy will conduct routine patrols on Monday to keep an eye on the rescued whales.

The Oceans & Coast Branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs is conducting a routine post-mortem on the carcasses of the deceased mammals that have since been transported to the Vissershok Landfill Site. The department said whale beaching was not uncommon along the South African coast and it is a world-wide phenomenon that occurs when whales get disoriented and are unable to swim back into deep water.
Read more on:    cape town  |  travel south africa

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