Whale washed away

More background information has come to light about the dead southern right whale that washed up near the Kingston Granites on September 6.

After the find was reported to South Australian Museum, employees and volunteers attended the scene for South East Natural Resources.

The whale was 11m long and the group took samples of the skin, blubber and muscle from the lower jaw, which were sent to the museum for analysis.

Dr Catherine Kemper from the SA museum was able to compare the photos that were taken of the carcass at the Granites and compare them with records of researchers based at Victor Harbor.

The whale has been positively identified and was observed to be behaving strangely west of Victor Harbor about four weeks before it was found washed up at Kingston.

Volunteer James Ferguson said: “When we returned to get some further photos two weeks after our first visit, it was gone.

“I assume that it was washed out to sea in a storm and may have drifted north with the currents. The staff at the museum would still like to get more details if we are able to locate it.

“If fishers taking part in the fishing competition come across any remains it will be a great help if they can make a GPS reading and provide me with the details.

“I can be contacted on 0437 401 071 by text if that is convenient.”

The photo shows the markings on the head of the whale which was used to make the ID.

Whales are born with these markings and they do not change during their whole lifetime.

On this whale there are small barnacles embedded within the markings which indicates that the whale could have been unwell for some months.

The whale would have only been about 18 months of age.