Sperm whale dies on beach 'after getting lost'
A 44ft (13.4m) sperm whale which became beached probably died because it got lost, a marine expert involved in the rescue bid said yesterday.
The 20-tonne adult male was stranded on Redcar beach in Cleveland and reported to police at 6.10am yesterday, sparking a major operation to save it.
But Richard Ilderton, of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said the North Sea was the wrong environment for such a large creature, and any attempt to refloat it – even if it was possible – would have been cruel.
The partially submerged whale was pronounced dead just after 9am, despite firefighters keeping it wet with a jet.
Mr Ilderton said: "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.
He added: "If we were able to put the animal back out to sea, all we would be doing is putting it back out to starve, which is massively cruel."
From the blogs
There are more empty shops on our high streets than ever before, says another report into the state ...
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
There is a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refle...
The opening titles squeal ‘Never Can Say Goodbye…’. Oh Lord how I wish I could heave this series off...
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.