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Whale euthanized and towed away

Whale euthanized and towed away

Video: Volunteers from the Namibia Dolphin Project fitted a tow cable around the tale of the whale for it to be towed away from civilisation after it was euthanized. – Footage: Niël Terblanché

Niël Terblanché
THE whale that stranded itself on Independence Beach in Walvis Bay earlier this week has been euthanized early on Saturday morning and was towed away by a launch when the tide was high enough for it to be easily dislodged from the sand.
The whale came ashore on Wednesday and several rescue attempts came to nothing after it kept swimming back onto the beach. One last attempt to rescue the animal by towing it forward and out to the open ocean did not succeed and had to be abandoned.
According to Dorothy Fourie, a volunteer for the Namibia Dolphin Project, euthanizing the animal was the only option left to end its suffering. She said towing it to beach further away from where people stays means that nature can take its course.
“If it was allowed to die and decay where it was wallowing in the shallow water it would have posed a health risk for the people living nearby. It would have attracted sharks and other predators to the beach which could also pose a serious risk for people.”
She said now that the whale has been euthanized they would be able to take samples from it to determine if it stranded itself because of an illness or injury.
The launch towed the carcass of the whale around Pelican Point towards Sandwich Harbour where it will be cut free to be washed ashore by the bigger waves behind the peninsula.
According to Fourie it is now up to predators and scavengers to take care of the whale carcass.

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