A dead juvenile humpback whale that washed ashore on Woolgoolga Back Beach meant heavy work to dispose of the body.
A dead juvenile humpback whale that washed ashore on Woolgoolga Back Beach meant heavy work to dispose of the body. STEPHANIE RING

Whale of a job to bury body

CROWDS gathered on Woolgoolga Back Beach yesterday to watch the disposal of a juvenile humpback whale that had died at sea.

When it was first sighted just offshore early Sunday, it was already deceased and authorities swung into action immediately to dispose of the shark-ravaged carcass.

Marine Parks and Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club boats worked together to move the seven metre whale away from rocks and towards the beach north of Flat Top Rock.

This enabled a marine vet to take samples from the whale to see what could be learned, as it was not obvious how the whale had died.

The bites were not necessarily the cause of death as sharks were unlikely to attack a whale unless it was already dead according to a National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesperson.

“It's not unusual for that (mauling) to have happened,” the spokesperson said.

“That's what sharks do, that's the important job they do, cleaning up the ocean of dead carcasses.”

Once the Pet Porpoise Pool veterinarian had finished, a large grave was dug on the beach.

“All the little organisms in the sand will go to work to complete the work the shark started,” the spokesman said.



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