Stinking whale carcass drives tourists off Goa beach

May 7th, 2009 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 7 (IANS) The carcass of a 14-metre-long humpback whale, hastily buried by forest department officials in the popular Palolem beach in south Goa, is driving away tourists due to stench from the dead animal, much to the ire of local shopkeepers dependent on the tourists.
The blubbery carcass of the whale had washed ashore at a small uninhabited island off Palolem April 29. The stinking carcass was later hooked to speed boats and brought to the Palolem beach, 70 km from here.

The forest department officials, who were supervising the operation, chose to bury the massive whale bang in the middle of the beach in a shallow pit. An overbearing stench from the carcass is now driving tourists away from the beach.

“Who will want to come to the beach now? Even we can barely stay at our shacks with this kind of stench,” Ramesh Dessai, who runs a popular eatery at a beachside shack at Palolem beach, said Thursday.

“Dogs have now started digging up the pit and feasting on the rotting whale,” he said.

Speaking to IANS, range forest officer Miguel Fernandes said they had not dug the pit, but had requisitioned the Canacona Municipal Council (CMC) to execute the task.

“They had to dig the pit quickly. We did not have time on our hands. The carcass had to be buried quickly because it was already beginning to smell,” Fernandes said.

The CMC meanwhile has promised to solve the stench issue quickly. “We are aware of the problem. The CMC is in the process of making alternate arrangements,” Agnelo Fernandes, a municipal council official, said.

The Palolem beach is one of the most popular beach in south Goa and is famous for its pristine surroundings and its relatively less commercialised surroundings.

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