A 10 metre whale has washed up on Waikanae Beach, south of Waikanae Boat Club.
DOC is working with local iwi Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai to ensure tikanga is followed in management of the whale on the beach, and during the burial process.
Brent Tandy, DOC Senior Ranger, confirmed it is a humpback whale, “It is approximately 10 meters long, and estimated at 20-30 tonnes.”
“The cause of death is unknown, but it is possible we can identify which whale this is from markings on the fluke. We would do this using a national database of DOC sightings of humpback whales. The smaller size of the whale suggests it is not fully mature,” said Mr Tandy.
The whale appears to have been dead for some time, and public are being advised to keep a safe distance from the whale for health reasons.
DOC Partnership Manager Paul McArthur said “It is sad when a whale dies, but it does provide people with an opportunity to learn more about these magnificent creatures. We just ask that people work with us to respect the body of the whale, and to ensure the safety of people on the beach.”
Due to tide and weather conditions, DOC and Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai are planning to bury the whale at a site on the Kapiti Coast early tomorrow morning.