A dead Southern Atlantic right whale was discovered on Sunset Beach near Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.
During the southern hemisphere’s winter months these whales arrive off South Africa to calve and mate. The global population of the Southern Atlantic right whale is around 10,000 according to a 2008 study by the National Geographic Society.
Although a ban on the hunting of the right whale has been illegal since 1937, tragically fewer than 300 Northern Atlantic right whales are estimated to still exist. In the decades that followed the ban, right whales continued to be hunted by poachers and accidentally killed by merchant and naval vessels. Scientists estimate population extinction of the Northern Atlantic right whale to occur in the next 190 years.
While trying to remove the whale from the beach, the tow doesn’t exactly go as-planned…