Ms Janna Cooper of Gonubie reported a sighting of a whale floating inshore at Yellowsands on Sunday 8th September 2013. Museum scientist Kevin Cole investigated the report and found a dead Pygmy Sperm Whale Kogia breviceps beached at Yellowsands near East London.
The animal measured 1.73 meters and was a calf of the species which seemed to have died due to injuries sustained by a ski-boat propeller.
These whales are found in temperate to tropical waters and reach a maximum length of 3.5 m. They have a squarish short head with a underslung lower jaw. They are slow deliberate swimmers and have an almost invisible blow.
This is a first record for the museum in the past two decades of the species. A necropsy was not undertaken as the external injuries were deemed to be the cause of death.
51 individuals were accidentally captured in 1993 by floating Japanese and Taiwanese nets which were operating in the North Pacific.