Animal lovers across the Cape are up in arms after a video showing a Dwarf Sperm Whale being shot on the slipway of the Hout Bay Harbour has garnered significant attention.
Shared to the Hout Bay Complete Facebook group, various authorities can be seen milling on or around the slipway – including the SPCA and Sea Rescue services.
“Hulle is moordenaars!”, a woman can be heard saying while an official in an SPCA uniform requests that no videos be made.
According to a statement from the Cape of Goodhope (CoGH) SPCA’s Belinda Abrahams, the Wildlife Team received reports of an injured Dwarf Sperm Whale at the Hout Bay Harbour. “Our hearts just sank when we arrived because this Dwarf Sperm Whale was extensively injured, weak and was no doubt suffering immensely,” she said. “According to research, whales often beach themselves when they are too sick or injured to swim and the currents carry them ashore where they suffer a slow and agonizing death as their organs shut down one by one. We knew that returning this Whale to the ocean would not be successful and would only add to the stress, pain and exhaustion that this animal was already experiencing.”
According to Abrahams, the CoGH SPCA had ‘no choice but to do the right thing’ for the injured whale. “The only way to humanely end this whale’s suffering was by humane euthanasia, and in collaboration with the relevant authorities this was carried out efficiently under our supervision. The SPCA will not allow any animal to suffer even if this means that we have to make difficult decisions like this when there is no other hope!” she said.
“The whale was euthanased in accordance with the marine mammal protocol. The decision was made by the City of Cape Town in consultation with Department Environment Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). Gratitude to the CoGH SPCA for assisting and managing the euthanasia,” added Gregg Oelofse of City of Cape Town Coastal Management.