Into the Blue The horizon is a slim band of pastel peach, the air is cool and rafts of Cape Gannets bob on the deep ocean swell while a few lone individuals flap listlessly above the rippled surface, unsure of which way to fly. Phila, our captain, and I are scanning the morning ocean of the Eastern Cape for a telltale of a sardine baitball … Continue reading Sardine Run in South Africa
August 15th 2020 : Fatal stranding of a juvenile Humpback Whale A juvenile Humpback Whale was stranded on the Wildside shore near Buffalo Bay on Saturday afternoon 15th August. Confined to a rocky gully and battered by huge waves generated by a 6m swell, the whale sustained numerous lacerations. Conditions and the location of the whale made a rescue attempt impossible and sadly it died … Continue reading Fatal Stranding of a Juvenile Humpback Whale in the Garden Route.
In the past 6 months there have been over 10 whale carcasses washed up, including a rare Sperm Whale, in the Garden Route. Depending on where they washed up, their handling varied from leaving them in situ to burying them or removing the remains for disposal elsewhere. Where possible, sampling was performed for DNA profiling and parasite collection. Generally, with the carcasses there is a … Continue reading Whale Strandings – the harsh reality of nature.
Date: Sunday 2nd September 2018 Location : Swartvlei Beach By Mark Dixon. Late Sunday morning the much awaited autopsy of the beached Sperm Whale carcass got underway. Joining the research team were Dr Stephanie Plon from NMU with Dr Greg Hofmeyr from Bayworld visiting briefly while en route to Cape Town. The most noticeable external observation was of the advanced onset of bloat that had … Continue reading Preliminary Sperm Whale autopsy report.
Date : Sat 1st September Location : Swartvlei Beach Sperm Whale washed ashore. By Mark Dixon It is remarkable that in the past two months no less than two whales have washed up on Swartvlei Beach west of Sedgefield. Even more remarkable is the fact that both whales washed up a few hundred meters apart, testimony to the consistency of currents along the shoreline. The … Continue reading Rare incidence of a Sperm Whale washing up on Swartvlei Beach beach in the Garden Route.