The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department announced that the carcass of the whale that was found in Hong Kong waters last week will be buried near High Island Reservoir West Dam in Sai Kung on August 7.
The department added that the necropsy of the carcass is complete, but that the tissue samples are still being analysed. The whale’s remains will be sent to Ocean Park after natural decay for research.
A whale was found floating motionlessly in the waters near Port Shelter off the coast of Sai Kung on the morning of July 31. Video footage emerged of the lifeless mammal near the surface of the water near a boat, with what appeared to be its internal organs spilling outside its body.
It was salvaged later that day and marine experts began conducting a necropsy on it to confirm the mammal’s species and pinpoint the cause of its death.
Earlier, marine experts urged the public not to distress the whale by chasing it on boats or getting too close to it. This request came after photographs appeared online showing propeller marks on the whale’s back.
The seven-metre-long whale — thought to be a Bryde’s Whale — was first spotted feeding near Millionaire’s Beach off the coast of Sai Kung in mid-July. Since then, several videos emerged of the whale coming to the surface of the water, opening its mouth to feed, and then returning underwater.
Bryde’s whales are tropical mammals and, while they do not usually frequent Hong Kong waters, it is not unusual to see them in the region. The last time a Bryde’s whale was spotted in the vicinity of the territory was in 2021, when one was sighted in the waters of Dapeng New District and Yantian District in between late-July and August of that year.
Header image credits: GovHK