Posted by: The ocean update | May 13, 2015

Mystery surrounds dead whale discovered on Spanish beach

Guardia Civil agents spotted the whale in shallow waters on Monday morning. Photograph: Guardia Civil

Guardia Civil agents spotted the whale in shallow waters on Monday morning. Photograph: Guardia Civil

May 13th, 2015. Experts in Valencia investigate death of six-tonne fin whale, which showed no sign of collision with vessel or being caught in net

Zoologists in Valencia are investigating the death of a six-tonne whale that washed up near the shore this week.

Guardia Civil agents patrolling the area spotted the whale in shallow waters on Monday morning. They said it was floating lifelessly towards the shore and deployed a boat to protect the animal from oncoming vessels.

Five hours later, the whale washed up on a beach in Cullera, a town about 30 miles south of Valencia. Police at the scene confirmed it was dead.

Zoologists from the University of Valencia have been investigating the animal’s death. They confirmed it was a fin whale, one of the most common species in the Mediterranean.

“It was female – most likely an adult,” Patricia Gozalbes, at the University of Valencia, said. “It showed no signs of a collision with a vessel or being caught in a net.” The whale’s advanced state of decomposition meant little more could be deciphered about its death, she said.

Lured by the large population of krill, fin whales often frequent the waters off the Valencian coast to feed, Gozalbes said. They tend to wash up onshore in the region at a rate of about one a year.

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