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Whale carcass stuck in mudflats off St Kilda beach weeks after attracting great white sharks

By on September 8, 2021 0

The saga surrounding the fate of a dead whale carcass off an Adelaide beach remains unresolved, with a local resident expressing concern about the smell and environmental impact of the giant corpse decomposing.

The remains of the dead whale were first spotted more than two weeks ago in the Port River, where they sparked the interest of onlookers as well as circling sharks.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that readers may find distressing.

Horrifying video showed the whale, which was hit by a ship, mauled by two great whites.

The carcass – which was later identified by the Department of Environment and Water as a type of baleen whale known as a sei – was moved by several high tides to Section Bank off the coast of the northern end of Torrens Island, between Outer Harbor and St Kilda.

It currently stands about 400 meters from St Kilda, embedded in shallow tidal mudflats.

“Its current location has made it difficult to access and remove,” the department said in a statement.

“Several attempts were made to tow the whale carcass out to sea when it first ran aground in the Port River shipping channel.

“These failed due to safety concerns as the carcass was mutilated by multiple large great white sharks.”

The environment department says it continues to work with authorities to remove it.(Twitter: Rex Patrick)

St Kilda Bandstand owner Robyn Cook told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning that she was concerned about the smell emanating from the animal, especially as the weather warms.

‘It drifted towards St Kilda and now it’s stuck on the flats,’ she said.

“I’m not looking forward to summer if they can’t move it.

“They were trying to move him, but they left him too long now and now he’s stuck.

“I was told yesterday that the jawbone was actually sunk in and those jawbones were quite heavy.”

Ms Cook said she remembered the moment in 1989 when the remains of a blue whale – whose bones are now in the SA Museum – got stranded in St Kilda.

“They must have cut it there, we had whale blubber in the channel for weeks,” she said.

“It drifts to that area and then the flats there are too shallow.

The decaying carcass of a humpback whale.
The whale was killed when it was struck by an international commercial vessel.(Twitter: Rex Patrick)

Senator Rex Patrick is also pushing for the sei whale to be removed.

“If this rotting whale was off Glenelg or Henley it would have been removed by now,” he tweeted this morning.

“Because only the 90 residents and children of St Kilda who visit the local renowned playground have to endure the stench, nothing has been done.”

But the environment department said one option now was to leave the whale to decompose, after a “number of attempts” to move it from its current location had failed.

‘A plan has been drawn up to attempt to relocate the whale so that the South Australian Museum can take tissue samples and recover the skeleton as they have no samples of this species in their collection,’ a doorman said. -word.

“These [attempts] beached due to shallow water and state of decay meaning it will not float.

The spokesperson said the department was continuing to work with the SA Museum and the local council on options to remove it, including engaging “commercial operators with specialist equipment”.