Africa

Cape Town closes beach to remove whale carcass

Efforts are underway to remove the carcass of a beached whale on a Cape Town beach. Image copyright ER24
Image caption Scores of Cape Town residents have gathered to take pictures of the beached whale

South African officials have closed some beaches in Cape Town as efforts are underway to remove the carcass of a beached whale.

The 15m-humpback whale came ashore on Tuesday night and lodged on a reef, according to local reports.

Officials say the removal will depend on weather conditions and the tide but hope to be finished by Wednesday.

Scores of residents have gathered on the beach to take pictures of the animal.

Gregg Oelofse, who heads the City of Cape Town's environmental affairs unit, said it was common for animals to get beached around this time of the year and asked the public to give teams space to work.

"We are going to be using heavy machinery to remove the carcass and ask the public to keep their distance," he said.

"We will try and put chains and straps around it and lift it onto a flatbed truck. It is big machinery and if those chains snap, it can be very dangerous."

The carcass would be taken to a landfill site for disposal.

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