Rare whale washes up dead at Mile 4

26 Nov 2017 09:10am
SWAKOPMUND, 26 NOV (NAMPA) - A dead Bryde’s Whale washed ashore at Mile 4 in Swakopmund on Thursday.
It is not clear what caused this sea mammal to die.
This is a rare species of whale, about 15 metres in length and weighing between 16 and 17 tonnes.
The discovery is of significance to researchers and tourists and discussions are underway to preserve the whole skeleton.
Jelly Gelletich from the Namibian Dolphin Project on Saturday said it would be great to preserve the skeleton of the whale, suspected to be female and more than 15 years old.
“There isn’t an entire skeleton of the Bryde’s Whale in any museum in the world that we know of, there are some skulls but not entire skeletons. This is important as it helps researchers understand the animal better,” he said.
Gelletich said Bryde’s whales normally live in much deeper water and it is rare to see them.
He said there are records of this species in Namibia and in southern African waters, however, they are not as well documented as a common whale like the Humpback. As such, very little is known about their movement in Namibia.
The Dolphin Project is working with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources as well as the Swakopmund Municipality to try and preserve the animal for future generations and research.
This is the third dead whale spotted on the Namibian coast this year.
In September, a young Humpback female of about 24 years was discovered near Henties Bay.
She was estimated at 13 metres, weighing 20 tonnes.
This carcass was disposed of in a huge trench.
Between September and October, another carcass of a whale was reported floating in the area of Walvis Bay.
Scientists said they are trying to establish why the whales died.
Some die due to starvation or injuries.
The Dolphin Project is a research and conservation project working in Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
It researches coastal dolphins and whales in Namibian waters with the aim of generating high quality data that is useful to both science and conservation.