Mystery surrounds stranded baby whale in Umhlanga

Posted on 18 August 2023 By Tsoku Maela

A multitude of individuals gathered as early as dawn on Wednesday, 16 August, to witness the sight of a young whale carcass that had washed up onto the shore of Umhlanga Beach in Durban.

Images of the marine creature inundated various social media platforms, capturing the attention of many. The security personnel from Marshal Security swiftly took measures to cordon off the area, aiming to prevent public access to the scene.

Providing insights into the incident, Nazir Sadack, a member of the Community Emergency Response Team known for its voluntary contributions to medical assistance, firefighting, trauma support, and animal rescue, communicated with TimesLIVE. Sadack detailed that the location of the carcass lies south of the Umhlanga lighthouse.

Delving into the state of the carcass, Sadack conveyed, ‘The circumstances surrounding the whale’s arrival on the beach remain unknown. It appears to measure approximately six meters in length, suggesting it is a juvenile.’

He continued, ‘The whale seems to have faced some form of hardship. Notably, there are visible bite marks on its body, and its state of decomposition is quite advanced. Evidently, it may have been adrift in the ocean for a considerable duration.’

Recent events have unveiled a troubling trend. Sadack expressed his concern, stating, ‘Remarkably, a pattern seems to be emerging with regard to young whales. Merely two days prior, another juvenile whale was discovered stranded at Tinley Manor, located further down the northern coastline. In this case, the whale was still alive when found.’

An encouraging collaborative effort ensued, as IPSS Medical Rescue orchestrated a mission to facilitate the return of the stranded whale to its aquatic habitat. The prompt and coordinated intervention of the medical rescue team showcases the dedication to preserving marine life in the area.

As these occurrences raise questions about the well-being of young whales and their challenges in navigating coastal waters, communities and organizations are being prompted to heighten their vigilance and proactive measures to address potential threats to these majestic creatures.


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