On the 22nd of September, much of the Alphonse Island community gathered to unload essential supplies from the first barge in six months. ICS were notified when a carcass was spotted floating in the lagoon. The 10m long-dead whale washed up on shore, allowing for the collection of measurements and DNA samples, with consideration not to burst the blubbery, bloated body, which was in a state of advanced decomposition. The tail fluke was missing and the underside eaten by sharks. Strong south-east winds kept the overwhelming stench at bay, while a JCB manoeuvred the whale into its final resting place buried in the sand. Unfortunately, the next day it was re-exposed, so staff set to work on plan B – towing it back out to sea. The shape of the skull and small anterior flipper suggest that this was a Sperm Whale and analysis of genetic samples could reveal its age and sex.
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