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Mass stranding of 55 False Killer whales in Cape Town


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#1 Travy

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 11:40 PM

Hi all

This past weekend 55 False Killer whales beached themselves on Long Beach in Cape Town.Thousands of members of the public came down to the beach to help out.Kids and parents were in the water with buckets trying to keep the animals wet.Some were successfully refloated but later turned back to beach themselves.At about 3pm the authorities decided to cull 35 of them(by shooting) in full view of the public.They try to close the beach but the people refuse to leave.Refloated whales were trying to beach themselves of some sharp rocks cutting themselves in the process.The City of Cape Town disaster management,NSRI,SPCA,SA NAVY and Marine and Coastal management decided the most humane thing was to cull them.This type of thing(mass whale beaching)does not happen often in South Africa,if ever as far as i know.
I spent the whole day in the water filming this attempted rescue and it was very sad to see the end result.I have never seen anything like this,even on the television.

Is this how it's done in other countries dealing with this kind of mass stranding?

p.s will load pics later.

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#2 shawnh

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:34 PM

This is really, really sad and unnecessary. I am in touch with folks on the ground and all accounts have been very consistent and as you have written. This needs to be addressed in the public eyes.
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#3 stewsmith

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:56 PM

what caused the pilot whales to beach themselves. I have never heard of such a large number acting like this. It is strange to read that some where taken back into the water only to beach themselves again.

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#4 Travy

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:57 PM

what caused the pilot whales to beach themselves. I have never heard of such a large number acting like this. It is strange to read that some where taken back into the water only to beach themselves again.

Stew


They first started beaching themselves at 8am.Most of the whales spent hours out of the water.The refloated whales were just returning or moving further down the coast.Weather conditions were,cloud cover,slight drizzle,water conditions were not to rough.No ships were near by.I dont thing any type of mechanical or electrical interference in the area as far as i could see.
I dont have a clue why this has happened or why so many of them were beaching.

I have frame grabs on my memory stick,how do i load them on here?

Edited by Travy, 02 June 2009 - 02:02 AM.

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#5 Autopsea

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:20 AM

It usually comes from a sickness of the leader, who beach himself. all the others then follow, as it is the leader.

very sad :/

#6 Travy

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:45 AM

It usually comes from a sickness of the leader, who beach himself. all the others then follow, as it is the leader.

very sad :/


I've heard this too on saturday by some of the marine mammal scientists.
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#7 shawnh

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:18 AM

I have it from sources that there may have been military activity in the area the day before. Not confirmed but very suspicious.
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#8 ce4jesus

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:01 AM

I've heard this too on saturday by some of the marine mammal scientists.



You have to wonder if high powered military sonar isn't responsible. I'd imagine a painful, high powered noise would drive anything, anywhere to avoid it.
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#9 Travy

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:35 AM

I have it from sources that there may have been military activity in the area the day before. Not confirmed but very suspicious.


The military activity you refering to was the SA Navy firing into the water in the basin at Simonstown naval base,on the other side of Cape Town.Land mass seperating these two area's.This happened in the Atlantic and Simonstown is on the Indian side.Although,travelling around Cape Point from Kommetjie(Atlantic) to False Bay(Indian) is not that far.Maybe 15 to 20km or so.
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#10 jtresfon

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 02:58 AM

I may take some flak for this, but in my opinion the saddest thing is that the animals were not culled hours earlier. It was obvious for quite some time that refloating the animals was not working and they spent many hours out of the water in the sun. My younger brother felt the heartbeat of one when he was trying to push it out to sea and he reckoned that its heart rate was close to 200bpm. The whole exercise must have been torture for them.

Personally I couldn't give a toss whether they are shot in front of the public or not. If the right desicion was to kill them then it needs to be done and done quickly. The over-riding concern should be to end the suffering of the whales. Shooting them in front of the public will only traumatise those watching, to the animals if would have been a relief. In this case the public refused to leave so they have only themselves to blame for any visual trauma.

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#11 shawnh

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 06:33 AM

Interesting perspective. I have it from a number of folks on the ground that they were able to save whales that had been stranded. Should we have shot these ones as well to put them out of their misery?
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#12 emaltorio

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:59 AM

You have to wonder if high powered military sonar isn't responsible. I'd imagine a painful, high powered noise would drive anything, anywhere to avoid it.

:P These days the South African Navy is very underfunded our subs are still diesel powered. Closest thing to high powered sonar in S.A is a lowrance fishfinder or a guy banging a bucket on the beach.

#13 Drew

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:29 AM

It's a high traffic area... quite a few foreign navy subs flow past. Maybe it's the Hibiscus Coast and Wild Coast tourism using depth sounders to find sardines for this year's run :P

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