Rangers chain rare whale
Nedlands rangers used an excavator to drag the carcass of a beaked whale off Swanbourne beach on its way to the WA Museum on Wednesday.
The whale washed up on the beach early on Wednesday morning, after beaching itself in South Fremantle the night before.
“Generally they only go near shore if they’re compromised, so we weren’t that surprised to see it again,” metropolitan marine park coordinator Melissa Evans said.
“We’ve taken a sample of the blubber to confirm what type of beaked whale it is.”
De f e n c e wo r k e r s from Campbell Barracks used an army truck to move the whale away from their firing range.
Nedlands council workers later chained it to an excavator and dragged it off the beach to a waiting truck.
Murdoch University researcher Nahiid Stephens was on the scene, and took a blubber sample to test for contaminants.
She said the whale was a male that she believed to be an adult.
“They’re a very rare … deep water species about which very little is known,” Dr Stephens said. “It was in good condition. “The museum is retaining its skeleton.
“We may have the opportunity to look at its gastrointestinal contents.”
Dr Stephens said beaked whales fed by sucking in water, and it was possible the whale had ingested plastic.
“It’s something we have to look for,” she said.
Cambridge CEO John Giorgi said his council’s rangers kept a close eye on neighbouring south City Beach in case the whale calf attracted any sharks, but the beach remained open.
Murdoch University researcher Nahiid Stephens took a blubber sample from the rare beaked whale.
An excavator was used to movethe whale from the beach.