A dead 30-tonne humpback whale washed up in a Sydney ocean pool Wednesday, AFP reports.
According to Wendy McFarlane of the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA), the 11.6 meter (38 foot) young adult humpback had some “external injuries” and is believed to have been dead for several days after being hit by a ship at sea, before it washed ashore and into one of Newport beach’s ocean baths.
The Newport beach was closed due to the risk of sharks attracted by the carcass. Still, hundreds of people flocked to the beach to see the giant creature floating in the ocean bath, a bizarre sight. Some locals were moved to tears. Lua Silva told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, perhaps forgetting about the boat, “It’s so sad but it is a natural thing to happen in nature”.
Authorities still have to deal with removing the dead whale from the pool. One option is letting it wash up on the beach by demolishing the pool wall. They will also consider pulling it out to sea. National Parks and Wildlife Service area manager Chris Grudnoff said to AFP that the number of dead whales that washed up along the Australian coast over the last few years indicates “a whole healthy population out there in the ocean”.