Chopper airlifts jawbone from beached blue whale

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 20/08/2014

Relevant offers

The rotting mass of blubber and bones near Okurukuru has been picked clean of its prize.

On Monday, the Department of Conservation airlifted two 300-kilogram sections of the 20-metre-long whale's jaw bone and delivered them to Oakura Pa.

The blue whale washed up on the shore early last month.

DOC partnership manager Darryn Ratana said the carcass had "pretty much disintegrated" and "members of the public were pretty much taking bones that had washed up on to shore".

Ratana said members from Ngati Tairi, a hapu of Taranaki Iwi, had expressed an interest in the bones and asked for help to get them to the pa.

He said a helicopter was the safest way to remove them because of their location, between Tapuae and Back Beach, and their weight.

"We did an assessment of what it would take to have manpower lift it out and it was just going to be too difficult and dangerous.

Ratana said they used a helicopter involved with another department operation to keep costs down, but it was not yet known what the bill would be.

Representatives of Oakura Pa for could not be reached for comment.

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who are you most excited to see at Womad?

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club

Sinead O’Connor

Tahuna Breaks

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino

Balkan Beat Box

Someone else

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Follow the Taranaki Daily News on Twitter

Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates

TDN North Taranaki Midweek

The North Taranaki Midweek's online

Get your mid week news fix

TDN South Taranaki Star

South Taranaki Star online

Get your South Taranaki news online