News

Two dead whales wash up on the Capricorn Coast

An adult sperm whale carcass washed up on Curtis island.
An adult sperm whale carcass washed up on Curtis island. Chris Ison

QUEENSLAND Parks and Wildlife Service received reports of two dead whales on the Capricorn Coast on Wednesday.

One of the animals was a full-sized, 18-metre-long sperm whale that had washed aground on Sea Hill Beach on Curtis Island.

Southern Great Barrier Reef area manager Graham Hemson said QPWS staff took samples from the carcass but it had been too decomposed for necropsy.

The other was a smaller, as yet unidentified, whale on Great Keppel Island.

"We're indebted to a member of the public who towed the whale off the beach and took samples and measurements," Mr Hemson said.

"These will be provided to Queensland Museum for possible identification.

"These two incidents appear unrelated and we don't have any cause for concern."

The cause of death is currently unknown.

Lyndie Malan, whose husband Carl Svendsen found the mystery whale washed up on Great Keppel Island, said the whale had had red markings and other scratches.

"Nobody has any idea how it died at this stage," she told Brisbane Times.

"It's all just pure conjecture but it does have pink colouring, similar to pink colouring from the (fish) deaths around Gladstone have been, so we don't know if that's related or not related.

"...It does have some scratchings and markings on it which could possibly indicate it got tangled in some way in some sort of wire."

Ms Malan said there were suggestions the animal was a small dwarf or pygmy sperm whale, both of which were rarely found in shallow waters.

QPWS encourages the public to report stranded marine animals to 1300 ANIMAL, with the information gathered from these reports of value to government conservation scientists and managers.

Topics:  capricorn coast curtis island dead animals queensland parks and wildlife whales



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