Young humpback whale found dead in Cape Town

Grey whale lying on rock with water in the background
The carcass of a stranded humpback whale, Cape Town, South Africa, December 9, 2021, photo: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

A humpback whale was found dead along Cape Town’s coastline in South Africa on Thursday. The exact cause of death is unknown, but the whale was thin, environmentalists said.

The humpback whale was a young male of around eight metres long, Jacques Du Toit, Cape Town’s environmental management representative, told news agency Reuters. The whale’s body was found Thursday morning, but was removed from the shore in the afternoon due to the tide.

Du Toit said that the whale had no visible injuries that could explain his death, but the animal did look skinny.

“The young male does look thin, his blubber is not very thick, so it can refer to malnutrition. But we don’t know why he died, and we cannot see if it’s linked to anything man-made or any other impact,” Du Toit said.

Du Toit added that the whale was most likely part of a pod of humpback whales sighted off the Atlantic seaboard in recent days. The whale will be buried.

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