Coast KZN

05 Oct 2016

Two humpbacks beached

Mia Moorcroft (Zululand Observer)


It is suspected the giant had already died at sea before being washed up

Two humpback whales – a calf and an adult – were found washed ashore along our coastline at the weekend.

A 4.42 metre calf was discovered early on Saturday morning between the Small Craft Harbour and Casuarinas in Richards Bay.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife was called out to the scene, but it was too late to rescue the calf, believed to have been only two or three months old.

On Monday, Ezemvelo District conservation officer Kevin Green said an investigation has been deemed unnecessary.

‘We have spoken to scientists at Sea World, but because she had no visible injuries or illness, we can safely say she just got separated from her mom and got stuck when the tides changed.

‘We would like to thank Transnet for assisting us with equipment to bury her on Saturday.’

A second large humpback was found at Cape Vidal at around 11am on Sunday.

It is suspected the giant had already died at sea before being washed up.

Samples were taken to determine the cause of death and heavy machinery was arranged to move the whale further north on the beach on Tuesday to a safer distance from swimmers.

‘These are not uncommon incidents,’ said Green.

‘Several whales of different species have already beached in the harbour and along our coastline this year, usually owing to sickness or malnutrition.’