Saturday, June 21, 2008

Humpback Whale Carcass Washes up on Kings Beach Port Elizabeth

A dead Humpback whale washed up on King's Beach, Port Elizabeth. I heard about the carcass washed that up on the beach over over Radio Algoa while listening to the purring of a cheetah at the Kragga Kamma Game Park. The cheetah had been showing interest in the live bait I was having self troll along the fence of its enclosure. The "livebait" were my kids. As they ran along the fence the docile cheetahs recognised young and came charging along the fence. Anyway back to the whale - it is lying against the harbour wall and is pretty much intact but missing most of the 5-6mm thick black skin. Fluke is split in half and a few samples of blubber have been cut out. A little blood was leaking out making a surf at the "fence" a bit more risky - great whites are know to track a whale carcass and follow the mobile meal. Someone had reported seeing great white sharks so a dive off Kings beach could get interesting.



You can judge the size by the relative size of my family alongside. The humpback whale I cut free from the entangling ropes back in the Komm at Cape Receife in October 2004 was of similar size - the visit brought back some good old memories.



I wonder how the local council will remove the carcass - perhaps with dynamite as I once saw a clip on the internet - big pieces of whale became airborne and one dented a cars roof severely - imagine the smell! I guess towing it out to sea would be best - one could possibly get some good footage if sharks came to feed on the carcass.

In late 2004 I found dead bottlenose dolphin at Bushy Park. Blacktail were nibbling off the skin. In the pic below you can see them crowding around the dolphin.



I did not find any injury that could have caused its demise - perhaps of natural causes.



For now the Algoa Bay is trashed north of Hobie beach. Perhaps today's westerly will repair the west side which was looking better yesterday but the viz looked dull and the inshore water was about 14 deg C.

Perhaps I will got to sea tomorrow.

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