Drone footage revealed images of a deceased humpback whale on a beach in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with an entangled rope around its tail.

Though the cause of death is not known at this time, it seems the whale got caught in fishing gear, and that made it vulnerable to predators.

The drone footage showed the whale had big bite marks and a ropes wrapped around its tail.

Kevin Clark, a diving instructor in the area, was alerted of the whale close to his parent’s residence and proceeded to fly a drone over the vicinity to find it. 

He claimed the whale’s death was probably caused by killer whales owing to the size of the bite marks, which do not correspond to that of sharks.

He mentioned his aunt told him while on a visit with the family, the whale had washed up close to the house, and he sent the drone to investigate. He said it was easy to find it.

The first thing he noticed was the rope and the traps entangled around the tail. It is not a new occurrence, as many other whales have become entangled in similar traps along the area coastline.

The South African authorities have helped on many disentanglement projects with whales. A lot of these projects have been successful, but this was not one of them.

He added the humpback looked like it was in good condition except for the fishing gear and the fact the lower jaw was entirely missing and the seagulls feeding on the whale’s carcass.

Another theory implied fishing gear placed excess strain. That may have led to its death.

Clark stated that he had been lucky enough to dive with humpbacks off the coast of Mozambique and said it was one of the greatest experiences of his life. Seeing them underwater was exceptional, and he described seeing the animal stranded on the rocks as tragic.

The incident could also be attributed to the increase of the whale population in the area. In July, National Geographic reported 30,000 humpback whales across the Western Indian Ocean. 

It is an increase from hundreds during the 70s. Two centuries of whaling had severely diminished the population.

According to marine biologist Chris Wilkinson, working at the University of Pretoria with the mammal, the whales tend to migrate every year from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the breeding grounds in Mozambique.