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Whale carcass burial, or not

In her 2009 thesis ‘Beach burial of cetaceans: implications for conservation, and public health and safety‘, Ann Bui of Auckland University of Technology, writes:

“Although burial is the most convenient and most economical strategy to dispose of cetacean carcass [in New Zealand], especially in mass stranding events or when cetaceans are of large size, […] persistent enrichment of beach sediments with organic matter could result in prolonged persistence of pathogens in beaches, causing unforeseen risks to human health and safety.”

This risk was already foreseen by the Oregon Highway Division on November 12, 1970, when they introduced a new way of whale carcass disposal on the beach just south of Florence, Oregon, USA. Watch the classic video. More exploding whales here.

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