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WATCH: Whale Stranded On Cornish Beach

Stranded whale
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6:03am 11th July 2016
(Updated 6:03am 11th July 2016)

A giant whale has died after washing up on a popular Cornish beach.

The huge creature, measuring around 40 feet long, was found at lunchtime on Perranporth.

The young female sperm whale was stuck in the shallows as the tide went out.

Marine specialists say that being out of the water for so long would have caused internal injuries and, even if they could have refloated her, she would probably not have survived.

They spent Sunday afternoon trying to ensure that she did not suffer.

The beach is one of the most popular in Cornwall, with one of the highest numbers of human rescues conducted by the RNLI every year.

Sperm whales are extremely rare in Cornish waters.

One of the experts on the scene told Pirate FM that, in her 14 years of responding to marine life emergencies, she has never had  to deal with a stranded sperm whale.

People could be seen pouring seawater over the whale in an effort to stop her drying out.

Stranded whale

The creatures can grow to around 50 feet (15m) and generally live up to 70 years olds. They can weigh up to 15,000kg.

They also have the largest brain of any animal known to exist.

One eyewitness told Pirate FM how he had seen the animal's tail moving as it tried to free itself from the sand.

Dave Jarvis from British Divers Marine Life Rescue said: "We had a call at around one o'clock from the coastguards at Falmouth to advise there was a whale stranded on the beach at the Penhale end of Perranporth beach.

"We sent a team of people along to have a look and that report has been confirmed.

"The animal is lying on its side. It was breathing initially, but we have not registered it breathing for quite some time now, even though they do not breath that often.

"It is very unfortunate because we will not be able to refloat it. The tide is still going out.

"When they are lying on their sides they can not breathe properly because all the blood goes into their lungs.

"It could just have got lost or if it's ill then the tide could have pushed it along if they are not swimming particularly strongly.

"All we can do is monitor it and keep it comfortable to stop it suffering. Its internal organs may be breaking down because of its own body weight.

"The animal is not used to feeling its own body weight before, because it floats in the water.

"We'll stay with it now as long as it takes."

A postmortem is expected to be carried out to try to work out whether she was already sick before she beached.

Officials are asking people to stay away from the area, worried that some could wind up cut off as the tide now comes back in.

Stranded whale

Stranded whale

6:03am 11th July 2016

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