Whale washed up dead on beach

A WHALE spotted off the UK coast has today been found washed up dead on a beach.

A WHALE spotted off the UK coast has today been found washed up dead on a beach.

The northern bottlenose whale, nicknamed Gilbert after Nick Gilbert-Smith, a RNLI lifeguard who first spotted it, was seen off Bournemouth beach and in Poole bay on September 13.

Several sightings had been made of Gilbert off the Dorset coast since the first spot.

But it emerged today that the whale was washed up on a beach in Bournemouth last night.

A spokesman for Dorset police confirmed the whale's death and warned members of the public not to go on to the beach for fear the mammal had a contagious disease.

The spokesman said: “Unfortunately Gilbert the bottlenose whale has been washed up on a beach in Bournemouth and is dead.

Most Read

“Officers from British Divers Marine Life Rescue are with the whale and a marine biologist will be attending in the morning.

Fears for Gilbert's well-being had been expressed because the whale would not be able to feed in the area.

The bottlenose whale would normally travel around the west coast and Scotland where it would have access to its normal source of food, squid.

Without this food it was feared it would starve and dehydrate.

Sue White, of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said that the northern bottlenose could have become dehydrated without water from the squid.

She said it was not known why Gilbert was in the area and that he might have taken a wrong turn into the Channel.

She added: “It is very unusual to have a northern bottlenose on the south coast.

“The northern bottlenose are deep divers and they get the water they need from the squid they eat and can get dehydrated without that.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter