A dead Bryde whale was discovered 5km off the Knysna shore by NSRI yesterday afternoon. By evening, it had washed up on the rocks of the suburb Buffalo Bay, practically on the doorstep of the local caravan park.
he first sign of the poor whale was its horrible smell. Tide was low enough so that i could walk out to it, approximately 80m away. Despite reports of many sharks, it was hard to tell if the whale’s injuries were a result of attacks or the rocks. When it first shuddered, i thought that it was alive. After pity had run through me, logic prevailed. Part of its insides had distended onto the outside of it’s body. Gas sought escape, causing movement before bubbling through the creatures ooze which had coated the rocks grey.
Up until the lates 1960s, Bryde whales were hunted by South Africans. It’s now an endangered species with an estimated 100 000 left in the world.
Richard Meyer, from Crisis Management in Knysna Municipality, said that it’s a joint venture between Cape Nature, Environmental Health and his department to remove the carcass. He was waiting for the tide to get higher so that they could tow it ashore to be cut up.
As i left, the stench got much stronger as someone cut into the whales hide to release the liquid within.