Half of the jaw of a beached sperm whale has been sawed off, presumably to sell the teeth on the black market.
As reported, a sperm whale beached itself at Snæfellsnes over the weekend. The whale is an adult measuring some 12 to 15 metres long. Skúli Alexandersson, a guide from Hellissandi, was reportedly excited to show the whale to tourists.
RÚV now reports that the creature has been mutilated. Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson visited the scene this morning, and found that half of the whale’s jaw had been sawed off. Poachers left the saw behind at the scene.
Haraldur was none to pleased with the situation, telling reporters that while Icelanders are shocked to learn that hands are sawed from gorillas to make them into ashtrays, they prove themselves no better when it comes to our own endangered species.
Sperm whales are endangered, and even though the whale had beached itself, the trafficking of sperm whale teeth is illegal, and banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. In the US, engaging in the practice can result in up to five years in prison.
Police are investigating the matter.