Journey ends at Tallow Beach for humpback
IT WAS a sad sight that greeted early morning walkers along Tallow Beach last Wednesday with the 8.8 metre long carcass of a juvenile Humpback whale washed up just south of Tallow Creek.
Lawrence Orel spokesman for NPWS said, "It's not unexpected that from time to time we will see this sort of thing occur, where we currently have around 30,000 humpback whales passing the area and as with any population the weaker ones or older ones don't make it,” he said.
"The whale has been assessed as underweight and body condition for this time of the season, it also had an elevated whale lice load so overall the physical evidence suggests it's health had been compromised.”
National Parks And Wildlife Service (NPWS) ranger Keely Markobina along with police, NPWS and volunteer wildlife rehabilitation group ORRCA were on the scene shortly after the whale was reported by a member of the public at 8.10 that morning.
The race was then on to remove the carcass from the beach ahead of the in coming tide and bury it off site.
Whale expert Dr Elizabeth Hawkins from Dolphin Research Australia was also there assisting NPWS and ORRCA to take sample samples of the whale carcass to determine the cause of death at a later stage.
"The whale is still at the water's edge and is definitely dead so the next stage will be how to remove it from the area and bury it off-site.
"It wont be buried on the beach as there are issues around that,” Ms Markobina said.
In October last year, a dead baby whale washed up on South Ballina beach and was buried by National Parks and Wildlife Services about 150 metres inland, before being exhumed and taken to the municipal tip by The Office of Environment and Heritage after issues arose around concerns of safety if bodily fluids from the carcass were to wash in to the ocean.
By 4pm the carcass had been dragged to Tallow Beach carpark using an excavator.
"People should report standard or injured wildlife to their local National Parks and Wildlife Services.”