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Bundle of rope found inside dead whale

The carcass of the Sperm Whale which washed up on Swartvlei beach near Sedgefield on Friday 31 August 2018 will be buried as soon as researchers completed their work.

At this stage researchers are still taking samples from the animal, weighing approximately 30 tons. The jaw of the whale was removed as a precaution as the unusual jaw and teeth may attract trophy hunters. The jaw will be taken to the Bayworld Marine Museum in Port Elizabeth.

A large bundle of rope was found inside the stomach of the animal, but it was probably not the cause of death, but could have contributed to the death of the whale according to Dr Greg Hofmeyr, Bayworld Marine Mammal Curator and marine biologist.

Hofmeyr said that the animal showed signs of ill health, which includes a stomach ulcer. The exact cause of death is difficult to determine due to a number of organs in an advanced stage of decomposing, making the task of obtaining samples very difficult.

This is the fourth whale to end up on a beach in The Garden Route in 2018. Beach goers are warned that there could be an increase in shark activity in the vicinity of the beached whale.


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