Sharks swarm whale carcass off Hawaii

July 9, 2008 at 3:58 PM
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KAHUKU, Hawaii, July 9 (UPI) -- A giant sperm whale carcass off the coast of an Hawaiian island attracted dozens of sharks, concerned area residents said.

The feeding frenzy moved to within a short distance of divers and a resort area near Kahuku Point, leading some to urge it be towed away, KITV in Honolulu reported Wednesday.

"There were divers just right, maybe a couple hundred yards from the carcass and they had no idea the carcass was there," said videographer Alex Werjefelt, who photographed the event.

"This thing is letting off a load of blood and stench," David Schofield, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine mammal response coordinator, said. "It's really oily, which is something that attracts sharks and fish."

Because the carcass is now caught on coral reefs it may be impossible to move, although authorities are considering cutting it into smaller pieces, he added. In the meantime, the public should enjoy caution in the area.

"It's a wild animal and we don't know what it died from. So, again people should use caution in swimming in that area," Schofield said.

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