Fate of Wurtulla Beach whale carcass decided

SUNSHINE Coast Council has ruled out removal of a decomposing whale from Wurtulla Beach where it has been oozing oils and blood since its shallow burial in the sand on Sunday.

The decision was late yesterday backed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection despite calls from a petition of more than 4300 people, Surfing Queensland, and the Kawana and Windansea boardriders clubs for it to be exhumed and removed from the beach.

A council spokesperson said council officers inspected the site yesterday morning and would continue to monitor it over coming days.

Did council make the right decision in burying the whale carcass?

This poll ended on 28 October 2017.

Current Results

Yes, it was the best way to dispose of it


They didn't have any other choice


No, it should have been removed from the beach


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"There are some physical signs that the whale is decomposing and the area, well away from normal beach activity, is cordoned off to the public," the spokesperson said.

"The current rate of decomposition suggests the whale may have been deceased for more than three days before washing ashore on Sunday.

"The remains of the whale are buried more than 30 metres above the high tide mark and more than three metres deep following approval from EHP."

An EHP spokesperson said public health and safety was a major consideration when disposing of carcasses.

"EHP considers the disposal method used by Council to be appropriate in this case," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson however denied EHP had directed the council to dispose of the carcass by any specific method despite council's claim to the contrary.

Surfing Queensland CEO Adam Yates and shark expert Tony Isaacson yesterday joined the call for the carcass dug up and disposed of away from the beach.

Mr Yates said the sooner the carcass was removed the better.

He said while there was no conclusive evidence the whale would attract sharks there was also none it would not.

"The safety of every beach goer is paramount," Mr Yates said.

He said the issue needed broader discussion and investigation.

Mr Isaacson fears the whale's burial could be an invitation for an interaction between a bull, tiger or white shark.

"It will attract sharks north and south of Wurtulla for decades if it remains buried," he said.

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