Sperm whales beached in Skegness following Hunstanton death – BBC News

Media captionPeople flocked to the beach to see the whales and photograph them

Three dead sperm whales found washed up on a beach in Lincolnshire are “believed to be from the same pod” as a whale which died at Hunstanton.

HM Coastguard said two of the whales were found on a beach near Skegness at about 20:30 GMT on Saturday, while a third was discovered earlier.

The Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme will examine the bodies.

The pod was spotted off the Norfolk coast on Friday before the Hunstanton whale died after becoming stranded.

Image copyright MCA
Image caption The third one was washed up earlier
Image copyright Carl Smith
Image caption Crowds are reported to be gathering to look at the whales

HM Coastguard said it believed the Skegness and Hunstanton whales to be from the same pod.

It has cordoned off the bodies and is asking the public to keep its distance.

Image copyright MCA
Image caption The first two whales were found by a nature reserve warden who told HM Coastguard

Adam Holmes, the RNLI station press officer for Skegness, said the town was “as busy as a bank holiday” as crowds gathered to look at the bodies.

Scientists from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, which coordinates the investigation of all whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings in the UK, will carry out a post-mortem.

Image copyright Jemma Greef
Image caption The RNLI, HM Coastguard and Hunstanton Sealife centre tried to save the whale in Hunstanton after it stranded on Friday

Up to five whales were seen at Hunstanton on Friday just before one of them became stranded and, despite efforts to rescue it, died.

Rob Deaville, programme organiser from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, warned the others were also at “considerable risk” of being stranded.

His team has taken samples of skin, blubber, teeth and blood from the Hunstanton whale and will carry out similar tests on the ones at Skegness.

Sperm whales are deep sea animals and do not belong in the shallow waters of the North Sea.

He said: “Every year we get 600 strandings of cetaceans in the UK and a handful, about five or six a year, are sperm whales.”

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk


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