Whale washes up on Norfolk beach

PUBLISHED: 19:00 20 October 2016 | UPDATED: 19:13 20 October 2016

Holkham Beach, where the whale washed up this afternoon. Picture: Mattheew Usher

Holkham Beach, where the whale washed up this afternoon. Picture: Mattheew Usher

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A fin whale washed up on the beach between Burnham Overy and Holkham this afternoon.

A fin whale off Greenland. A fin whale off Greenland.

A spokesman for the Holkham estate said the beach remained open but plans were in place to remove the creature.

She added: “On Thursday afternoon, a dead 40ft fin whale was washed up on Holkham Beach, part of Holkham National Nature Reserve, on the north Norfolk coast.

“Wardens from the reserve have reported the whale to the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) who hope to carry out a post-mortem to establish cause of death.

“Plans are in place to remove the whale from the beach. Holkham Beach remains open but we advise the public not to venture close to the carcass and to keep dogs on leads.”

Rob Deaville, from the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, based at London Zoo, said: “We heard about the whale stranding an hour or so ago.

“We’re just trying to assess what it is and whether we might be able to access it to examine it and we may have more information on this front tomorrow.”

Experts are still investigating mass strandings of whales which happened earlier this year.

Six sperm whales washed up on beaches around The Wash, including Hunstanton, Skegness and Wainfleet in January.

Scientists from the strandings programme took samples of skin, blubber, teeth and blood to ascertain cause of death.

The creatures, which were all males, were among more than a dozen to die in the southern North Sea. Six died after being washed ashore in both Germany and the Netherlands.

Officials warned people to stay away from the creatures, which drew hundreds of visitors to the coast.

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