Monday, 28 December 2015

Dead whale closes popular South African beach amid shark concerns

Strand Beach near Cape Town has been shut as experts fear the corpse of the 14 metre whale may attract sharks

Thursday 24 December 2015 05.33 GMTLast modified on Thursday 24 December 201509.13 GMT

A South African beach popular with Christmas holidaymakers has been closed until the carcass of a beached whale is removed amid concerns its blood may attract sharks, the City of Cape Town said.

Photograph: Reuters
Local media described it as a humpback whale measuring over 14 metres (46 feet) in length and said two sharks had been spotted in the area.

“The immediate area around the whale carcass has been cordoned off and this area is closed to members of the public ... The blood and debris from the carcass can attract sharks to the area,” the city said in a statement.

Workers remove the carcass of a whale on Strand Beach, near Cape Town. The South African beach, popular with Christmas holidaymakers, has been closed until the carcass is removed amid concerns its blood may attract sharks. 

The affected area was the Strand Beach, a stretch of sand east of Cape Town.

Great whites, the largest predatory species of shark, are common in the cool Atlantic waters off Cape Town and sometimes attack surfers or swimmers. They would not be expected to attack a whale and it was not immediately clear how the humpback had died.

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