Posted by: The ocean update | October 14, 2015

Vets unable to determine how Portstewart whale died (Ireland)

The dead whaled washed up on Portstewart strand

The dead whaled washed up on Portstewart strand

October 14th, 2015. Vets have been unable to determine how a fin whale that was stranded on Portstewart Beach died, as the mammal had been dead sometime before it washed ashore.

Vets from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) were called upon to try and establish the cause of death for the 42-foot female fin whale after it washed up on the shore on Monday 5 October.

AFBI carries out high quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for the department of agriculture and other government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.

They were able to determine that the whale was a juvenile, as its size was consistent with a fin whale which is only just post-weaning.

However the carcass was in very poor condition and it had died some time before it came ashore.

“The body condition of the mammal was considered sub-optimal and natural causes are suspected, however the exact cause of death is inconclusive,” the ABFI reported.

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