Mumbai: 40-feet-long whale carcass washes ashore in Palghar

Updated: Jul 11, 2019, 14:19 IST | mid-day online correspondent

According to the forest officials, the whale carcass got stuck in sand in the intertidal zone during high tide

Mumbai: 40-feet-long whale carcass washes ashore in Palghar
Representational image

A decomposed carcass of a 40 feet whale washed ashore on Wednesday in Palghar. the carcass was first noticed by locals around 8 am roughly 100 meters off Mahim beach's waterline, where a stench hung in the air. This marks the tenth recorded incident of a dead whale washing ashore in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in the last three years.

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Forest officials stated that the carcass got stuck in sand in the intertidal zone during high tide. "It could be of a baleen whale, though the species cannot be immediately ascertained because of decomposition," stated Ruchita Sankhe, the forest officer. Heavy downpour and a stormy tidal zone made it difficult for the authorities to remove and bury the carcass. The workers had to wait for six hours for the water to recede before the operation. Two JCBs were called to move the 12 tons carcass. "It was difficult to get into the water because of the tide and heavy rain," said Sankhe. "We hoped that high tide would make the carcass float more towards the beach, making our task easier, but that was not to be. The whale was firmly stuck in the sand, and its skin and flesh had begun to peel off. It was a stinky mess."

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According to Times of India, Dr. Dinesh Vinherkar, a veterinarian who specializes in treating marine creatures, stated whales and other sea creatures, naturally die in the sea, where their body decomposes. "Sometimes currents can bring them ashore. A whale's death can be due to natural causes or habitat disturbances, among other factors." The seawater at the beach receded around 2.30pm and the removal operation then started. While one JCB was engaged in pulling the carcass out of the sand, the other dug a 40 feet pit on the beach for the burial.

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