Dead whale is buried in Bowen

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A DEAD whale found washed up near the North Queens­land Cruis­ing Yacht Club at Bowen this week has been buried.

A Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice spokesman said Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil co­or­di­nated the burial.

Un­der a Mem­o­ran­dum of Agree­ment with QPWS, coun­cil staff col­lected mea­sure­ments, pho­tos and a blub­ber sam­ple aided by a lo­cal tur­tle vol­un­teer.

The QPWS spokesman said judg­ing by the pic­tures posted to Face­book, the whale was be­lieved to be ei­ther a dwarf minke whale or an An­tar­tic minke whale.

The whale was brought to the public’s at­ten­tion on Mon­day morn­ing when Ruby Hill posted a photo to a Bowen com­mu­nity Face­book page.

“This poor lit­tle whale didn’t make it, pic­tures taken in front of sail club,” Ms Hill said on her post.

In the pic­tures, the whale looked to have been at­tacked by an­other an­i­mal.

The QPWS spokesman said pre­da­tion was com­monly seen in stranded ma­rine mam­mals that were al­ready sick, in­jured or de­ceased.

Dwarf minkes travel through Bowen and the Whit- sun­days on their an­nual mi­gra­tion to the north­ern Rib­bon Reefs near Cook­town in June and July.

This hasn’t been the only whale sight­ing, with a few live whales also spot­ted in the Whit­sun­days last week.

OzSail em­ployee Craig Falken­mire was on board Spank Me, work­ing be­low the deck around the Whit­sun­day is­lands last Mon­day af­ter­noon when he heard his friend on deck yell out “whale!”.

The pair were met with two hump­back whales swim­ming along­side the boat.

“We thought they (the whales) were go­ing to hit the an­chor chain be­cause they were so close,” Mr Falken­mire said.

To re­port an an­i­mal washed up on shore, con­tact 1300 AN­I­MAL (1300 264 625).

SAD END: The whale that washed up near the yacht club. Photo con­trib­uted.

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