Injured 20-tonne humpback whale euthanised on KZN beach
An injured humpback whale was euthanised on Wednesday night after washing up on Maphelane beach, near the KwaZulu-Natal tourist town of St Lucia.
It is understood that the 11m mammal was first spotted by a National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) team who were launching their vessel for early morning training on Wednesday. The team immediately notified police and iSimangaliso Wetland Park about the stranded whale, believed to weigh about 20 tonnes.
Musa Mntambo, spokesperson for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, said the whale was euthanised on Wednesday night “as it was badly injured”.
He said the whale had remained overnight on the beach before it was to be removed and disposed of.
Mike Bouwer, of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, said in a Facebook post that the animal had been kept comfortable, while curious onlookers gathered around it.
He said the whale had been put down by a police bomb squad.
“It is the quickest and most humane way to do this, and is instant.”