Saturday 26 September 2020

Second dead bottlenose whale found washed up on Zeeland coast

A file photo of a bottlenose whale. Photo: Cephas via Wikimedia Commons

The body of a second bottlenose whale has washed up on the Dutch coast near Borssele, dolphin charity SOS Dolfijn has said on Twitter.

A bottlenose adult and calf were first spotted three weeks ago in the Oosterschelde estuary and an adult was found dead near Terneuzen in Zeeland on Monday, leading officials to think the second body may be its calf.

However, SOS Dolfijn now says the second whale would appear to have been about four metres long if the body had been complete, and is likely to have been an adult, not a calf. More research is being carried out at Utrecht University.

Bottlenose whales normally live in the much deeper waters of Atlantic Ocean. ‘They were probably lost but we don’t know why,’ Utrecht researcher Lonneke IJsseldijk told the AD.

‘The last time a bottlenose whale beached here was in 1993 but something is definitely going on because we have been getting reports of dead bottlenose whales on the coasts of England and Ireland too.’

In late August, six bottlenose whales died after stranding on a beach in Donegal and experts have suggested the beachings could be due to military sonar exercises.

There have been other unusual sightings in Scottish waters as well.

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