Durban- Whale fragments and fatty whale chum is still present on uMhlanga beach forcing authorities to close it to bathers on Monday.
The uMhlanga Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) has been informed that the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence have closed uMhlanga's beaches deeming it unsafe to swim.
Jennifer Olbers, a Marine Ecologist at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, said the sub-adult humpback whale was sighted off oThongathi last week Sunday morning and to prevent it from coming ashore, it was towed out to sea by National Sea Rescue Institute and the Specialised Rescue Unit (SRU) from Ballito.
Olbers said the North-easter wind which began blowing on Sunday afternoon blew the carcass back towards the beaches. It came ashore on where it remained floating between the pier and uMhlanga Lighthouse in the rocky outcrops. The whale carcass had been removed.
The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) website said dolphins and whales may strand along the beaches of KwaZulu Natal for many reasons that may be natural or as a result of human activities.
Some of these reasons include disease, old age or parasitic infection, abandoned calves, or malnourished juveniles; severe oceanographic and weather conditions or they may have been bitten by predators such as sharks or orcas.
Human activities include pollution or an injury from fishing gear or boats.