Female humpback whale stranding at Cape Morgan

A 13 m female humpback whale was reported stranded yesterday at Cape Morgan (see attached map below).

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An investigation by museum scientist, Kevin Cole revealed that the animal had died out at sea before being lodged on the rocks below and slightly to the west of the Cape Morgan lighthouse. The skull, mandible and upper jaw had been dislodged from the main body (probably on impact with the rocks). There was no other visible trauma to the body except for some small shark bite marks to the upper jaw (it is assumed that there was some predation on the floating carcass).

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Skin and blubber samples were taken and will be sent to Bayworld in Port Elizabeth for analysis.

This is the second female humpback whale stranding along this coast in six weeks. The first was investigated at Cape Henderson on the 22 June 2018 (illustrated below).

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Kevin Cole investigates the Cape Henderson humpback whale stranding

Mr Bryan Church (Strandloper Tail manager) reported earlier today that a local Kei Mouth resident Mr Rob Nel had spotted the whale floating in the area last Thursday (2 August 2018). The advanced state of decomposition attests to this. Mr Church and Mr Richard Warren-Smith (Morgan Bay Hotel) are thanked for reporting the whale to the museum.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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1 Response to Female humpback whale stranding at Cape Morgan

  1. Marion Meyer says:

    Thats so sad. I have painful disease and my consolation is that some days whenlay on my bed, I can watch whales and Fish Eagles go past. Its such a privilege. Huge hugs to you all. You make a difference to my life. Marion Meyer

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