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Minke whale washes up on Isle of Man beach

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  • by John Turner
 

A minke whale washed up at Glen Maye beach probably died of natural causes, a spokesman for the Manx Wildlife Trust revealed.

The trust’s marine officer Lara Howe said samples had been taken from the body of the 20-foot long mammal that washed up on the beach on Saturday but there was no obvious cause of death.

‘There was no obvious sign of injury that we could see and it was not possible to do a full post mortem examination,’ she said.

‘It is really quite rare for a minke whale to be washed up like this though we do get calls out to harbour porpoise, dolphins and grey seals sometimes.’

Jen Adams of the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch said she believed samples had been taken of the animal’s internal organs, blubber and stomach contents but no cause had been established.

‘Often they can be malnourished but as yet we are unsure,’ she said.

‘There were reports earlier of it floating at sea so it was definitely already dead when it was washed up.’

Richard Harrington of the Marine Conservation Society said the minke whale is one of the smaller species but an adult will grow to around 24 feet in length.

‘They are one of the more common whale species. They are not currently under threat of extinction but they are still vulnerable,’ he said.

Often the government’s Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture will deal with removing a carase but because the location is not accessible by vehicle this is likely to prove impossible.

The hope was that yesterday’s (Tuesday) predicted high tide would be sufficient to wash the body back into the sea and carry it away.

In the meantime the whale has proved a curiosity for sightseers with strong stomachs who have been visiting the beach to take a look.

 

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