Animal deaths under investigation

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is investigating the deaths of two seals and a whale, which have washed up on Eden’s Cocora Beach over the past fortnight.

Several residents have expressed concern, with one who saw the beaked whale suggesting that it looked to have been shot.

Initial reports referred to the beaked whale as a dolphin, but Office of Environment and Heritage Marine Fauna Program Coordinator, Geoff Ross, has identified the larger marine mammal at Cocora as a beaked whale.

An NPWS spokesperson said the organisation is trying to determine how the cause of the animals’ death.

“I can confirm that NPWS is investigating, and in the last fortnight we have had reports of two seals washing up on Cocora Beach,” Lucy Morrell, Senior Public Affairs Officer for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, said on Friday morning.

“We did have a report of a distressed dolphin about one kilometre out to sea last week, but until today we have had no reports of it being shot.

“We are looking into it and will be on site today.”

Mark Irvine, a Bega Valley Shire Council spokesperson, said the animals have been buried on the beach in accordance with Council policy.

He said Council had passed on information to the National Parks and Wildlife Service to assist in their investigation.

“The Eden Town Team is responsible for the clean-up and removal of the carcass,” Mr Irvine said.

“They’ve buried them in the sand, about four or five metres deep, which is our policy.

“We’ve had calls from the public about this, but from a Council perspective, we’re not responsible for investigating.”

The latest seal to wash up on Cocora Beach, last Thursday.

The latest seal to wash up on Cocora Beach, last Thursday.