South Africa (9/24/2003)

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  • Date: 24-Sep-2003
  • Location: Near Sundays River, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Species: Southern Right whale
  • Category: Euthanization

A stranded and suffering Southern Right whale was discovered on a remote beach by school kids on a beach clean-up project. At an estimated weight of 30 tons, marine officials decided it would be impossible to tow the whale back out to sea. So they called the police in to euthanize it with explosives.

September 25, 2003, 07:45

Stranded whale may be put down

An adult Southern Right whale is stranded in the Coega area near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Marine experts say it is too big to be rescued and will probably have to be put down.

Elouise Matthys, the Bayworld spokesperson, said the whale is about 13 metres long and weighs an estimated 20 tonnes. She said the whale was first noticed on the beach yesterday.

Matthys said a decision on the most humane way to euthanase the whale will be taken soon. She did not rule out the use of explosives to kill the whale.

© 2003 SABC News


9/26/2003

Southern Right whale put down with explosives near Sundays

By Sam Mkokeli

A MASSIVE Southern Right whale that beached near Sundays River this week was put down with explosives on Wednesday and left to decompose.

Marine and coastal management spokesman Dennis Mostert said the whale was discovered by pupils from Tjaart van der Walt Primary, who were on a beach clean-up tour.

It is believed that the whale beached 12 hours before it was discovered on a private beach between Sundays River and Hougham Park.

Mr Mostert said it was not known what had caused the whale to beach.

“It could have been ill or it was trapped in the sandy beach — we don’t know, we are just speculating,” he said.

He said it was “humanly impossible” to remove the whale as it was between 13 and 18 metres long and weighed about 30 tons. The police had to be called to put it down.

“It was instant and the explosives were put close to the heart,” he said.

© 2003 The Herald / Johnnic Communications