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Crowds gather as officials try to remove beached whale

The animal was spotted near the Strand Pavilion yesterday & became stranded during the night.

Curious beachgoers gathered at Strand beach on 23 December 2015 to get a closer look at a dead humpback whale that washed up overnight. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Scores of people have flocked to Strand Beach this morning as efforts to remove the carcass of a beached whale are underway.

Many say this is the first time they've seen a whale.

#BeachedWhale Crowds asked to move behind the tape as officials continue their work. LI pic.twitter.com/LNc1XSyTAX

The animal was spotted near the Strand Pavilion yesterday and became stranded during the night.

#BeachedWhale Some residents claim the whale might have been hit by a vessel. LI pic.twitter.com/7sITmgPHV9

A vast area of the Strand beachfront is cordoned off as curious onlookers gather.

#BeachedWhale The bad smell is expected to get worse as attempts to remove the carcass continue. LI pic.twitter.com/MP7lxO06Vp

The carcass of the female Humpback is beached about 60 metres away from where crowds are.

Meanwhile, excited children are taking photos and videos, overwhelmed by the size of the animal.

Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

It's not clear how long this operation will take.