In yet another incident of dead whales washing ashore, the carcass of a nearly 30-foot-long whale, identified as a Bryde Whale, was found at the popular Juhu beach in Mumbai on Thursday night.
The massive carcass was beached last at night and was reportedly spotted by locals, who informed the police and the forest department.
"It is about 50 feet. It must have died one or two days ago. It died at sea and was washed ashore. The body has not completely degenerated, but it has become bloated. We have the challenge of disposal of the carcass, which could be around 25,000 kg," Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell told The Hindu.
The sheer size and wight of the mammal makes transporting and disposing the carcass a difficult job for local authorities. The Hindu reports that officials are looking for a burial place, as the administration lacks the expertise to preserve whale’s carcass. Vasudevan also adds that the organs cannot be preserved due to the risk of explosion as the body is bloated and filled with gas. Two hydraulic cranes will be deployed to move the whale, reports DNA
"We will deflate the carcass on the beach itself, otherwise it could explode," Assistant Conservator of Forest (Mangroves Protection Cell) Makrand Ghodke was quoted as saying by DNA. Ghodke added that this was the second biggest whale to have beached on India's West coast after the Giant Blue Whale that was washed ashore in Alibaug in 2015.
Due to the size of the whale, an autopsy will be performed at Juhu beach itself, according to the DNA report. Four veterinarians who will perform the autopsy and then move the carcass to the forest department’s conservatory in Airoli. Officials also plan to preserve its skeletal structure at the information centre in Airoli of Navi Mumbai, continues the report.
The Juhu Beach incident is latest in a list of beaching incidents in India. Recently, carcasses of 38 Baleen whales were washed ashore near the Tiruchendur beach in Tamil Nadu while more than 250 whales stranded in shallow waters were pushed back into the deep sea. In June 2015, a 42-foot-long blue whale was washed ashore at the Revdanda coast, about 17 kms south of Alibaug in the neighbouring Raigad district. Forest officials had contacted marine biologists after spotting it when it was still alive and struggling to survive. However, the whale had later died.
The reasons for this are not yet precisely known. "There could be many reasons - sound pollution under water, pollution from industries, plastic consumption, or even disease, since the animal has no external injuries," said Animesh Limaye, an expert from Reefwatch India told NDTV.
As expected, hundreds of people swarmed to Juhu beach trying to catch a glimpse of the carcass and soon several photographs of the whale were shared on social media.
A tragic moment on Juhu beach. #juhubeachlog #juhu #juhubeach #somumbai #mumbai_uncensored #everydaymumbai #mymumbai #clickmumbai #wearemumbaikars #s_ofb #trelltalemumbai #igramming_india #everydayindia #indiaclicks #indiapictures #storiesofindia #everydayasia #everydayeverywhere #seaside #beach #publicspaces #urbanliving #urbanlife #urbandesign #playgroundsofmumbai A photo posted by Juhu Beach, Mumbai (@juhubeachlog) on
30 feet Whale on juhu beach .. What's happening in Mumbai ??? pic.twitter.com/0KBzND1zbB
— Sameera Gawandi (@sameeratweeter) January 29, 2016
35 feet long dead whale washed ashore on Juhu Beach last night....quite a site pic.twitter.com/hC1yNZD5wi
— Faridoon Shahryar (@iFaridoon) January 29, 2016
A large 50-foot long Bryde's whale was washed on the shore of the Juhu beach on Thursday midnight. pic.twitter.com/ZBVsjmm8iP
— Mahesh Suryawanshi (@geekyms4) January 29, 2016
With inputs from PTI