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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Beaches close in South Africa after Great White sharks attack a giant whale that washed up on shore

Shark activity is increasing in the area and the public were warned not to enter the water

A large section of coastline in South Africa has been closed after a beached 30 metre long whale was attacked by Great White sharks.
The sharks fed off the giant mammal's carcass when it washed up on Muizenberg beach near Cape Town on Sunday.
Authorities have since removed the southern right whale, but say it was found with chunks of flesh torn off its body. A stretch of shore has now been closed to the public 'as a precaution'.
Disaster response teams had moved swiftly to get the animal out of the water and onto a flat-bed truck.
Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, a spokesman for Cape Town's disaster risk management centre, said: 'A decision was taken to begin the recovery operation immediately because of the increase of shark activity off beaches along the False Bay coastline.'
Workers try to move the beached whale carcass on Muizenberg beach

The warning did not stop curious onlookers streaming to the site.
Claire McKinnon, manager of the Cape Town cleansing and solid-waste management department, said samples were taken from the carcass to enable pathologists to establish the cause of death before it was disposed of at a landfill site.
Once the whale was out of the water, a bulldozer rolled it over the sand.
Solomons-Johannes said it was not known whether the whale was alive when the sharks attacked it or had succumbed to an illness.
'Under normal circumstances predators such as sharks often sneak up on their prey from behind or underneath. Predators don't usually face off in a fight,' he said.
'A predator goes in quickly and quietly attacks the prey. Predators choose the ill, injured, young or old animals to hunt because they are easier to catch.'
In 2005, local teen J.P. Andrews was attacked by a Great White shark while surfing off Muizenberg beach. Doctors pronounced him dead on the beach - but he survived, although he lost his right leg.

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