Saturday 10 December 2016

South African beach closes after fears dead whale will attract Great White Sharks

Published 23/12/2015 | 13:37

A great white shark. The animal is the world's largest known predatory fish. Photo: Getty
A great white shark. The animal is the world's largest known predatory fish. Photo: Getty

A South African beach popular with Christmas holidaymakers has been closed until the carcass of a beached whale is removed amid concerns its blood may attract sharks, the City of Cape Town said on Wednesday.

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Local media described it as a humpback whale measuring over 14 metres (46 feet) in length and said two sharks had been spotted in the area.

"The immediate area around the whale carcass has been cordoned off and this area is closed to members of the public ... The blood and debris from the carcass can attract sharks to the area," the city said in a statement.

The affected area was the Strand Beach, a stretch of sand east of Cape Town.

Great whites, the largest predatory species of shark, are common in the cool Atlantic waters off Cape Town and sometimes attack surfers or swimmers. They would not be expected to attack a whale and it was not immediately clear how the humpback had died.

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