Strand beachgoers watched with noses pinched on Wednesday as bulldozers slowly dragged a whale carcass out of the water.
Initially one bulldozer was called in to pull the 14m humpback whale off a reef, the city’s environmental corporate governance director, Gregg Oelofse, said.
He said two more bulldozers had to be roped in for back-up. Officials had built a sand berm, which would make it easier to move the carcass onto a flatbed truck. It would then be taken to a landfill site.
“We are not out of the woods yet, but we have been able to move it quite a bit inshore.”
The whale carcass washed ashore overnight. As a precaution, the entire Strand beach was closed for bathing as the carcass was emitting fluids that could attract sharks.
Oelofse said a large crowd had gathered to watch the removal. He had to warn people every now and then to back off a bit.
Environmental affairs officials had been to the site early on Wednesday to take samples from the animal in order to determine the cause of death.