Whale scavenged by Great White sharks
A massive blue whale that washed up on a remote West Coast beach had several shark bites, but experts said it was unlikely the sharks killed it.
Paua fishermen found the 27-metre long, 150-tonne carcass about 7 kilometres south of the Whanganui Inlet, at the southern end of Farewell Spit, on Tuesday.
Nelson paua fisherman Philip Walker said most of the tail had been chewed off and there were other bites on the whale's body.
He said Department of Conservation (DOC) staff had confirmed the bites were made by great white sharks. "It's the biggest one I have seen," Walker said."It was huge."
Another fisherman at the scene, Kina Scollay, was attacked by a great white shark, which took a bite out of his leg, off the Chatham Islands in 1995.
Whale expert Anton van Helden, collection manager of marine mammals at Te Papa in Wellington, said it was likely the bites were made after the whale died. A tissue sample would be taken for Auckland University's whale database.