South Africa (9/20/2004)

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  • Date: 20-Sep-2004
  • Location: Bonza Bay, East London, South Africa
  • Species: Humpback whale
  • Category: Carcass removal/disposal

In this case, a Humpback whale beached itself and died. Officials towed the carcass out to sea and used explosives in order to break it up into smaller pieces that would be less likely to float.

September 20, 2004, 13:00

Beached whale towed, blown up at sea

The adult humpback whale that beached itself at Bonza Bay beach in East London was successfully towed out to sea this morning. The animal beached late yesterday afternoon and died during the night.

The whale, weighing about 20 tons drew a huge crowd. The cause of the beaching or the animal’s death is not known yet, but conservationists suspect it came to the beach to die. The first two attempts to tow the animal out to sea with a tugboat from Portnet failed because the rope kept breaking, but the third attempt succeeded.

The whale was blown up at sea to make the carcass sink. This decision was made as the carcass would have been a great health risk. Samples of the animal have been taken to hopefully establish the cause of death as there were no visible injuries.

© 2004 SABC News