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Saturday, September 26, 2020

‘Disgraceful’ twist in tragedy of sperm whale washed up on Patchs Beach as JAW hacked off by poacher

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A trophy hunter is suspected of hacking the jaw off a sperm whale that washed ashore on a New South Wales beach. 

The 16.9-metre-long mammal became stuck in the shallows of Patchs Beach, south of Ballina, on Friday but died before it could be rescued. 

On Tuesday, horrified volunteers discovered the whale’s lower jaw had been removed with a chainsaw in a ‘disgusting act’ they believe was motivated by money.

The 16.9-metre-long mammal became stuck in the shallows of Patchs Beach, south of Ballina, on Friday but died before it could be rescued

The 16.9-metre-long mammal became stuck in the shallows of Patchs Beach, south of Ballina, on Friday but died before it could be rescued

volunteers discovered the whale's lower jaw had been removed with a chainsaw in a 'disgusting act' motivated by money

volunteers discovered the whale’s lower jaw had been removed with a chainsaw in a ‘disgusting act’ motivated by money

The Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) said the whale was still breathing when it was first sighted.

But by the time volunteers arrived to try to rescue the mammal it had drowned because it was on its side and water entered its blowhole.   

Jools Farrell, the Vice President of ORRCA, told Daily Mail, volunteers arrived on Tuesday to find a section of the whale’s lower jaw had been removed.  

‘It was an absolutely disgraceful act that showed no respect for the whale,’ said Ms Farrell. 

‘The whale’s head was on the sand and they’ve come in overnight with a chainsaw and they have taken part of the jaw,’ she said.     

Whales are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and it is illegal to possess any part of a whale under state and federal legislation in Australian.   

Ms Farrell said the teeth could be sold on the black market and fetch a high price because they are made of ivory.  

She said it was uncommon for the deep water creatures to beach themselves as they are usually found in deep water and can hold their breath for up to 50 minutes.  

Ms Farrell explained it was a long process to remove the carcass from Patchs Beach due to the remote location of the area and the size of the animal.

‘It was an adult male, 54 tonnes, so to try and get the machinery to remove the whale has been quite difficult,’ she said. 

The remains of the animal were removed on Wednesday but some volunteers have been left traumatised by the brazen theft of the animal’s bones.  

‘We will follow up with our members who were on the beach to make sure they are okay,’ said Ms Farrell. 

The dead whale has also attracted a number of sharks to the area along the new south wales coast.  

The remains of the animal were removed on Wednesday but some volunteers have been left traumatised by the brazen theft of the animal's bones

The remains of the animal were removed on Wednesday but some volunteers have been left traumatised by the brazen theft of the animal’s bones

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