SAD END: A sperm whale which was stranded at Casuarina Beach later died.
SAD END: A sperm whale which was stranded at Casuarina Beach later died. Lisa McMullen / ORRCA

Whale carcass to be exhumed and taken to the tip

A ROTTING whale carcass buried at Casuarina Beach two weeks ago is set to be exhumed from the grave and taken to the tip.

Tweed Shire Council is expected to extract the 3.38m juvenile sperm whale from the dunes following an outpouring of "community concern".

Council is exploring options to dispose of the carcass, including exploding it, towing it out to sea, or transporting it to a tip, with the last option now most likely.

A council spokesperson said today council was making plans for the transportation of the carcass to the tip as early as tomorrow.

The move by council to bury the whale, under advice from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Fisheries, has come under fire from local residents.

Community members, including Councillor Gary Bagnall, took to social media in recent days criticising the burial of the mammal in dunes not far from the high-tide mark.

Some residents and Cr Bagnall were concerned decomposing oils leaching from the whale carcass might attract sharks or pose a health risk to beach users.

Salt Surf Life Saving Club president Mark Humphries, who also shared those concerns, welcomed council's decision to exhume the carcass.

"We got calls from concerned residents in Casuarina asking if we could assist them in the process, they were up in arms against the burial in that location," Mr Humphries said.

"We applaud the council on their decision because we obviously don't want anymore sharks attracted to the area."

North Coast Land Services' Dean Chamberlain said wild dogs could also be attracted to the site where previous attacks on pets and humans have taken place.

"Certainly livestock carcasses can act as an attractant," he said. "A lot would depend on how deep the carcass was buried and how much odour came from the site."

Council co-ordinator of natural resources Jane Lofthouse said council had reviewed its policy in relation to animal carcasses.

She said council had worked with the State Government to explore options to dispose of the carcass, including exploding the carcass, towing it out to sea, or transporting it to a tip.

Ms Lofthouse said it was only the third whale stranded on the Tweed in her 20 years of working at the council.



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