UK

Humpback whale found dead on Northumberland beach

Humpback whale Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The humpback whale washed up on the rocks near Dunstanburgh Castle on Sunday

A dead humpback whale has washed up on a beach in Northumberland.

Howick Coastguard Rescue Team said the juvenile whale was found on the rocks near Dunstanburgh Castle just before 14:00 BST on Sunday.

The coastguard has warned the public to stay away from the “partially decomposed” carcass, which poses a “very significant risk to health”.

A spokesperson said the whale was on “slippery, uneven rocks” which posed a significant fall risk.

Decaying humpback whales can carry thousands of lice, and leak substances containing harmful bacteria, the coastguard said.

The oil-based chemicals, such as putrescine and cadaverine, can stick to a person’s body and have “a particularly noxious smell”, the spokesperson added.

Bystanders were cleared from the area on Sunday and a cordon set up in the hope the tide would take it back out to sea.

Arrangements are now in place to remove the whale as soon as possible.

Humpback whales can grow up to 52ft (15.8m) long.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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