Kapiti Observer : January 17th 2013
Observer KAPITI THURSDAY, January 17, 2013 Next stop Everest, P3 Trotters Big day out, P15 Editorial (04) 298 5019 -- Advertising (04) 298 5019 -- Fax (04) 298 2073 -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- www.kapitiobserver.co.nz Whale has onlookers fascinated Giant of the deep: Paraparaumu Beach sisters Morgan Bole, 13, Madison, 9, and Monet, 7, inspect the sperm whale. By RANDALL WALKER and BEN STRANG Crowd puller: Hundreds swarmed on to Paraparaumu Beach to look at the whale and take photographs. A dead sperm whale on Parapara- umu Beach brought out crowds of onlookers yesterday. The 10 to 15-metre whale could be seen stuck in sand in front of the Kapiti Boating Club from day- break. Kapiti Marine Charters' Ross Leger alerted the Kapiti Observer to the whale, having seen it at 6am when he was checking on the weather for the day's sailing across to Kapiti Island. By the look of it and position on the beach, I would think it [beached] about [12am to 1am Tuesday] night on the high tide.'' John Bole, of Paraparaumu Beach, brought his children to see the whale, after noticing it out the window when he rose. He said it was not there at 9pm the previous night. Crowds of people flocked to the beach to touch and have photo- graphs taken with the beast, forc- ing the Kapiti Coast District Council to cordon off the whale. Kaumatua Don Te Maipi perfor- med a karakia. The tide eventually took the whale out and it washed back in last night. At the time of press local iwi were removing the jaw bone, a job expected to take three hours. Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Brent Tandy said the whale was an adult, and one of the biggest he had dealt with. He said it would need to be cho- pped into pieces, likely with chainsaws and knives, and buried on Paraparaumu Beach, once iwi had removed the jawbone. We've had a few whales wash up in the past, but none on this scale,'' Mr Tandy said. This is really big. It's too big to take away in one piece so we need to break it down.'' He said the whale was taped off because it posed a disease risk if touched. Te Papa Museum marine mam- mal collection manager Anton van Helden told Fairfax NZ the whale was freshly dead and had possibly died on the beach or very close to shore. He believed it was an older adult male. There is considerable wear on the teeth and a lot of white scar- ring on the skin. It probably died of suffocation due to being stranded but what caused it to come in is another equation. They may suffer the same old age conditions as we do such as heart disease and arthritis, which could contribute to the cause of death.'' Waikanae's Damian Parata, of local iwi Te Ati Awa ki Whakaron- gotai, said a dead sperm whale washed up on Peka Peka Beach eight years ago after a stormy night. He said that whale was about 17 years old. Adult male sperm whales weigh upto57tonnesandcanbeupto 20 metres long. For more photos see kapitiobserver.co.nz.
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