Giant shark washes ashore in Tamil Nadu beach

The carcass of a male whale shark washed ashore at Aatrangarai in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.

Ramanathapuram forest range officer S Sathish said, “The 21-foot-long whale shark is estimated to be aged around 35 to 40 years and could have died three days ago as the carcass started to decay.”

The carcass of the 18-feet-long, one-toed sperm whale was washed ashore in Ramanathapuram district. Forest officials later buried it on the beach after conducting an autopsy.

Forest officials are investigating to confirm whether it was hunted or was it unable to swim towards the deep seas after being wounded on the rocks.

Sathish, Forest Officer, said, “The whale species, an 18-foot-long, one sperm whale, washed ashore on Atrankarai seashore near Alangankulam in Ramanathapuram district. These are less common in the Palkpay and the Gulf of Mannar, and only four have been seen in the past four years. ”

Palk Bay wildlife warden A S Marimuthu inspected the carcass. Postmortem performed on the carcass by veterinarian Nizamudeen in the afternoon revealed that the whale had suffered internal haemorrhages possibly after hitting a rock.
The carcass was buried in a pit after bleaching powder and acid were sprinkled on it.

Whale shark, which is considered the biggest fish species, is a Schedule I species protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.