An 11 metre hump back whale has been euthanized after it washed up on the Kabeljous Beach, near Jeffrey’s Bay, in the Eastern Cape.
The reason for the stranding has not been established.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) staff were informed about the 20 ton whale which beached on Monday night.
A whale of about 11m in length washed up on Kabeljous Beach in Jeffrey’s Bay overnight.Dr Stephanie Plön-Earth Stewardship science research institute with @NMU says the whale which was still breathing had to be euthanized. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/i2dmVDz5Ty
— Lerato Thipa (@LThipa) August 13, 2019
After a long consultative process, it was decided that euthanizing the whale was the best option.
Earth stewardship science researcher, Dr Stephanie Plon says,”We know that an animal the size is about 11 metres long is too heavy to be able to re-float it and if we were to attempt to, we would most probably do damage to the spinal cord and tail so the decision was made to reassess the situation. At first life is what we did and the animal was still alive and breathing and the most humane solution in these instances is to euthanize the animal.”
NSRI station commander in Jeffery’s Bays, Richard Janse Van Rensburg, says their primary concern is to keep people safe.
“Our major concern with incidents like this is to keep the people safe. People form a very close relation with the animal quickly and they put themselves in harm’s way. So it was getting late, tide was coming in so we considered that people might actually get trapped under the whale and also from a protocol point of view people are not allowed to get closer to the whale.”