Dead whale to be buried at beach
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 8:45a.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The massive sperm whale which washed up on the Kapiti Coast last night will be cut up into pieces today and buried at a secluded part of the beach.
The 15-metre long marine mammal was discovered at around 6:30am in front of the Kapiti Boating Club on Paraparaumu Beach, and hundreds of locals have flocked to see it.
It has been fenced off to protect it from onlookers, many of them children, eager to snap a photo with the new addition to the beach.
A local kaumatua blessed the whale this morning. The jawbone and teeth will be removed this afternoon and given to the local Te Atiawa iwi.
An animal autopsy – called a necropsy – will not be performed on the mammal.
Scientists at the scene say it is most likely a mature male sperm whale, based on the scarring on it head and the wearing of its teeth and could be around 60 years old.
Department of Conservation staff are at the beach and a spokesperson says the rest of the whale will be cut up in sections and buried at the secluded, less busy part of the beach.
They say it is too big to bury as one piece.
It is understood the whale died overnight but it is not known if the death occurred at sea or after it stranded on the beach.
Residents say the whale wasn’t on the beach last night and could have come in with the high tide at around 1am today.
Whale stranding organisation Project Jonah is at the beach, along with Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan.
The next high tide it expected just before 2pm but waves are currently splashing over the whale.
Sperm whale can live up to 65 years old, can hold their breath for up to an hour and can dive down to 2000 metres deep.
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17/01/2013 3:57:29 a.m.
Agree with Jim,but then again when DOC is involved its anyone's guess as to what could happen,perhaps if they had been notified when the whale first washed up they could have wasted a 100,000 bucks trying to resuscitate it !!!,hey don't laugh,how much did that bloody penquin cost the country when it lost its way ?,bet a fat leopard seal is laughing now.
16/01/2013 9:26:16 p.m.
How on earth do you think they'd tow a 57 TONNE mammal over to the island? lol.
16/01/2013 4:16:33 p.m.
The local iwi are taking the jawbone, and i imagine it will be buried deep near the dunes. i guess they wont take it out to sea for fear of parts of it being washed up again. i would have thought it would have been better to tow it to kapiti island or somewhere so it wont matter if it smells
16/01/2013 1:03:35 p.m.
Ummm,buried at the beach ? if i am correct won't it then eventually be uncovered again by the tides ?,bet people who like scrimshaw would love to get hold of the teeth.
16/01/2013 11:26:13 a.m.
Are there no resources we can use from this animal? Why just bury it?
16/01/2013 11:23:03 a.m.
Why burry it? Why not cut it and throw it back to the sea for other creatures to eat?
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