Injuries to this juvenile humpback whale found at Byron Bay yesterday suggest it suffered an agonising final few days.
Injuries to this juvenile humpback whale found at Byron Bay yesterday suggest it suffered an agonising final few days. Dan Burns, Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre

Baby humpback dies after being hit by ship

SURFERS out to catch a dawn wave at The Pass at Byron Bay yesterday were the first to discover a badly slashed whale washed up on the rocks below the lookout.

The surfers told the National Parks and Wildlife Service the seven-metre juvenile humpback may have been still alive when they found it at 6am.

However, Lawrence Orel, a spokesperson for the service, said the animal stood no chance of survival.

The whale had suffered a severed spine and deep slashes along its body, from behind its dorsal fin to its tail stock.

A vet who arrived at The Pass about 7am estimated the injuries had been inflicted some 48 hours earlier.

Mr Orel said that it appeared the slashes had been caused by the propeller of a large cruising vessel.

An excavator was brought in to remove the carcase, which was taken to the Cape Byron Marine Park depot for tests before being buried at the Myocum tip.



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