A humpback whale that washed out at Steps at Wilderness Beach late on Friday afternoon is still alive, the George Municipality said on Saturday morning.
The municipality said "if needs be" the whale would be euthanised on Saturday afternoon.
"The South African Police and the Department of Environmental Affairs is in charge of the scene. A marine biologist will do a quick tissue sampling session and the carcass will be removed. George municipal cleansing workers will do the removal," the municipality said in a statement.
The municipality's law enforcement, fire brigade, lifeguards, police and Stranded Marine Animal Rescue Team (Smart) are also on the beach for the safety of the public currently at the scene, according to the statement.
The municipality has appealed to the public to "steer clear of the area" so that the authorities can do their job and "assist the animal in a humane manner".
"Once the euthanization has taken place the beach will be closed from Wilderness all the way to Leentjiesklip."
The NSRI has warned bathers and beach users to be cautious due to suspected increased shark activity after the whale washed ashore.