A whale that was put down in Northumberland was a rare Sei whale, experts have now said.The female 26ft (8m) whale, originally thought to be a minke whale, was put down after it was stranded on a North Sea beach in Northumberland. Experts from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) charity went to her aid when she was found in Druridge Bay at about 07:00 BST on Wednesday.
The charity said it was an unusual species to find stranded in the UK, the whale was assessed as being too thin to be returned to the sea. After treatment, the “massively underweight” female whale was put down because of her condition.
BDMLR operations director Stephen Marsh said: “Sei whales are an unusual species to find stranded in the UK. “The whale which stranded is the sixth in the UK since the inception of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) in 1990 and only the 16th since the Natural History Museum began collecting data on UK strandings in 1913.”
The CSIP said the post-mortem test revealed the 8.6m juvenile female Sei whale was in moderate to poor nutritional condition, with comparatively thin blubber deposits and bile staining of the intestinal tract indicated a period of starvation.
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