This footage is not directly related to the story below, but removing the carcass of a dead whale from the beach is always a classic source of entertainment…
Victoria Bay, New Zealand
The whale that washed up on Victoria Bay beach has been removed and the beach will probably reopen on Friday.
The George Herald reported that swimmers were ordered out of the water on Sunday after the authorities were notified by a resident who spotted a whale washed up between rocks on the east side of the bay. The whale had been dead for days and was “already rotting” when it washed up on the rocks, said George’s Fire and Disaster Management chief, Barend Nelson.
A boat was sent out to tow it out to sea, but the mission was aborted as the whale was too heavy. The Humpback was originally estimated to weigh 15 tons but was bigger than expected, said Nelson.
Early on Tuesday morning the whale was wrapped in a net, and 150m cables were attached for three vehicles to tow it off the rocks. The 40-ton capacity cable began to fray once the whale was on the beach, and chains had to be attached for the last tug.
The dissection began with workers from Tree Master using chain saws, which attracted a lot of attention from locals.
“We tried to keep the spectators away because it was very smelly and messy,” said Nelson.
Seven hours after they began, 30 tons of whale meat was loaded into 10 vehicles and driven to the rubbish dump for burial. Nelson said on Wednesday there were still “little pieces of whale in the water”.
George Herald reporter Wessel van Heerden said the rocks and sand were covered in a white, fatty layer and in some places, pieces of blubber were floating around. “They’re busy rehabilitating the beach and picking up all the little pieces,” said Nelson.