Rare stranded sperm whale washed up off the Yorkshire coast
The male was seen on Good Friday in a poor condition and despite assistance by medics from the charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue, died in shallow water. Its carcass then washed back out to sea.
The volunteers expected it to wash up again either north or south of Cleethorpes depending on tides, and it has now appeared close to the Humber Estuary. The exact location is not being disclosed to prevent people interfering with the body.
The 15-metre specimen is only the second adult male sperm whale ever to be recorded in the UK, the first being in 2016. The cause of its death is unknown and could be related to disease.
Whales are unlikely to survive after beaching, as they become malnourished and disorientated if not quickly refloated in deeper water.
Marine scientist Rob Deaville from the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme, which is government-funded, has now taken samples from the carcass on the Humber.
At Christmas in 2020, a pod of seven juvenile sperm whales died after becoming stranded at Withernsea, and sick ‘trophy hunters’ removed body parts to take away.