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Stranded Whale Dies of Injuries

whale carlyon bay
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2:22pm 14th August 2012
(Updated 2:22pm 14th August 2012)

The battle to save a whale washed up on a Cornish beach has failed.

The 65ft creature has died from its injuries.

It follows a desperate battle to save the giant Fin whale, beached at Carlyon Bay on Monday night.

Les Jenkin from Brixham Coastguard said: "Just before five o'clock we had numerous 999 calls reporting a whale beached on the middle beach at Carlyon Bay. We do get various animals washed up - dolphins, seals. We don't get whales very often, I must admit, but it does happen."

whale carlyon bay

Coastguards brought in specialist rescue teams from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue after they were alerted to what was happening by holidaymakers.

But despite a plan to refloat it, the endangered Fin was too badly injured. The whale, stranded on an outgoing tide, was also injured around one eye and there were reports of a gash on its underside.

There is speculation it deliberately beached itself in order to die.

BDMLR spokesperson Faye Archell said: “It is incredibly under nourished and has a very high breathing rate which suggests it is very sick and distressed.

"It would be wrong for us to put a sick animal back into the sea. We are frustrated about it but we cannot help it."

Despite claims from other news outlets, the whale was not put down by a vet. In a statement the charity said: "Locals reported that it had already stranded earlier, so the prognosis was not good and the decision was taken by the attending vets that it would be more humane to euthanize the animal rather than let it suffer a slow and lingering death. However, the whale died naturally and this was not necessary."

Police had pleaded with people not to turn out to watch the operation on the beach as roads became gridlocked.

Around three hundred onlookers watched the desperate battle to save the female.

Inspector Dave Meredith, who tweeted updates throughout the rescue bid, said: "Sadly the whale at Carlyon Bay is too sick for recovery. It is going to be humanely destroyed. Very sad."

Fin whales can grow up to 85ft and are the world's second biggest animal, after the blue whale.

The dead creature was recovered on Tuesday afternoon and taken to Par Docks for disposal. Experts say a post mortem may not now take place.

Watch this video taken by GriffosDiscovery, one of those who watched the desperate operation to rescue the creature...

2:22pm 14th August 2012

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