Sick whale washes ashore near Byron Bay
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
A SICK pygmy sperm whale has been buried at Byron Bay after beaching itself at Suffolk Park.
The two-metre long whale, weighing about 450kg, was buried in the Arakwal National Park yesterday afternoon after an autopsy was carried out by Southern Cross University researchers.
The adult female was found on Tallow Beach at 5.30am and died two hours later.
Cape Byron Reserve Trust acting manager James Law said the autopsy revealed the whale was very sick.
"It was cut open and was full of worms," he said.
"It had also been haemorrhaging. We thought it may have had birthing complications, but there was no sign of a calf nearby."
Blood test results in the next few days are expected to reveal the exact cause of death.
Mr Law yesterday warned people not to try to push beached whales back into the water.
"That's the wrong thing to do," he said.
"It was exhausted and beached itself for a reason. The best thing to do is hold it in the shallow water and keep its back moist."