Dead body of 36ft-long whale washes up on Kent beach

The whale is believed to have choked on a plastic bag

Marine experts at the scene where a mammal, believed to be a minke whale measuring around 36ft-long (11m), was discovered on the shore at Foreness Point, near Cliftonville, Kent
Marine experts at the scene where a mammal, believed to be a minke whale measuring around 36ft-long (11m), was discovered on the shore at Foreness Point, near Cliftonville, Kent

The dead body of a 36ft-long (11m) whale has washed up on a beach in Kent.

The huge creature, believed to be a minke whale, was found on the shore at Foreness Point, near Cliftonville.

Police have since placed a cordon around the animal’s lifeless body.

A Coastguard spokesman told Kent Online that the whale appeared to be around four-years-old. It likely died after eating a plastic bag or a similar piece of waste, because whales sometimes confuse floating debris as jellyfish.

Staff members from the Institution of Zoology have been alerted. The organisation is partnered with the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (UK CSIP), which documents examples of beached and dead cetaceans, basking sharks and marine turtles.

They will also soon begin dissecting the minke whale, Kent Online reported.

Experts from the Natural History Museum in London, which is also linked to the CSIP, also plan to take samples from the dead whale.

“The samples provide an insight into the cause of death, as well as examining the diet of the whale and any diseases or parasites it contracted during its life,” Rebecca Lyal, the cetacean strandings support officer based at the Natural History Museum, told Kent Online.

Julia Cable, of East Sussex-based British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said that staff members have tried to identify the species of the whale.

“It looks like an 11-metre long adult minke whale, but it is difficult to say with certainty without seeing the underside of it,” she said.

Living for as long as 50 years on average, minke whales are found both in the tropics and at the edges of the northern hemisphere.

Experts regard minke whales as generally solitary creatures which live on a diet of fish, including herring and whiting, as well as some plankton. They can swim up to 13mph.

Additional reporting by PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in