Quigney residents woke up today to an “exceptionally” large sperm whale which had been washed up just metres from the East London Aquarium.
Kevin Cole, East London Museum principal scientist, said: “The washing up of the whale was first reported to me at 2.30am by Siani Tilney, Chief Marine Services for BCM. It is safe to say the whale washed up late last night. It is an exceptionally large, fully developed, male sperm whale.”
Cole said the whale which was 18.4–metres-long and weighed in at an approximate 40 tons did not show any signs of trauma besides bite marks given post–death by “opportunistic sharks”.
“In this case it is most probable that this was a fully developed adult at the end of its life. This is indicated by the fact that it was showing signs of malnutrition. We also found parasites on the outside of its body which indicates that it was moving very slowly. This was probably a natural death.
“We are waiting to see if the high tide will wash it out today [Thursday], if it does not then we will have to work with Buffalo City on other means of removal.”