Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Death of a Whale

The adult male spem whale died after being beached on Redcar sands.
A 20-tonne sperm whale has tragically died after becoming beached on Redcar sands. The stricken mammal, which is reported to be 40ft long, was first spotted on the beach by a local dog walker as the tide went out in the early hours of the morning. It was partially submerged and in distress. Despite firefighters keeping it wet with a jet of water the whale was pronounced dead shortly after 9am.

Once alerted Cleveland Police the RNLI and marine experts rushed to the scene to try and help the creature. The coastguard put up a cordon as officials from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity battled to save the whale.

Experts believe that the whale became beached because it had probably got lost. A spokesman from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue reported that the whale had stopped breathing at 9am but because they can hold their breath for about an hour they had to wait to make sure it was dead. "While we have whales in the North Sea, it is not a suitable environment for a sperm whale because the food supply is not there. It doesn't eat, it becomes malnourished, it becomes dehydrated because whales do not drink - they get their liquid from their food. It can cause all sorts of health problems and ultimately results in something like this happening."

The whale will remain on the beach overnight, watched by security guards, before a post-mortem examination is carried out by zoologists tomorrow. Then it will be up to the local authority to dispose of it.

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