A blue whale ran aground on a beach in Namibia on Tuesday April 27, 2021. The mammal will be autopsied to determine the causes of death but according to initial findings, it could be a collision with a ship. This is what marine biologist Simon Elwen reports. Indeed according to him, the body of the whale was covered with wounds which suggest that: "the animal was struck by a ship, very close to the bay" . This incident is relatively rare to be highlighted. Especially since this kind of mammal hardly ever ventures so close to the coast. Already on Monday, a whale watcher had spotted the whale "floating on its back" off the Namibian port town of Walvis Bay. The lifeless body then drifted ashore on Tuesday morning.
The blue whale is the largest living animal on earth. This whale displays impressive dimensions: 30 meters long and 170 tonnes. It falls into the category of endangered species. In 2018, the IUCN estimated that there were between 5,000 and 15,000 blue whales, while the WWF estimates that the number today would be between 10,000 and 25,000.
If forty years of whaling has brought the species to the brink of extinction, it appears that blue whales are slowly re-populating the waters of southern Africa.
Of course, we are very far from the levels before industrial hunting. Before the turn of the 20th century, the species was abundant in almost all oceans with at least 250,000 individuals.