Baby sperm whale exhumed from Casuarina beach
THE carcass of a baby sperm whale buried in sand dunes at Casuarina on the Tweed Coast has been exhumed and taken to the tip following community concerns over health and safety.
Security guards were on hand this morning to monitor the operation at Casuarina beach, as council workers removed the rotting carcass from the dunes.
Sand surrounding the burial site was also removed from the dunes.
The exhumation followed a community outcry, with residents concerned oils leaching from the body through the sand might attract sharks to the area.
Tweed Shire Council coordinator of natural resources Jane Lofthouse said the whale's body was removed from the dunes in chunks and would be transported to Stotts Creek tip where it would be buried.
The operation was expected to cost ratepayers between $8000 and $10,000, Ms Lofthouse said.
The 3.38m juvenile sperm whale beached itself at the Tweed Coast beach on January 4.
It was later buried by council under the direction of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
It is only the third whale to have stranded on the Tweed Coast in the past 20 years.