Three dead sperm whales which washed up on the Lincolnshire coast have been removed in a five-hour operation.
A team of 14 workers started the process at Skegness just after 8pm on Wednesday.
The whales, believed to weigh around 30 tons, were found on the beach at the weekend and are believed to be part of the same pod as others found in Hunstanton, Norfolk, and Wainfleet, Lincolnshire.
The whales were then put on to low loaders, wrapped in a tarpaulin and taken to landfill sites in Didcot, Oxfordshire, and Sheffield.
"It's gone very well really. The last one where the flaps had been cut open for the autopsy was hard work.
"You can't really plan what you are going to do because you don't know if they are likely to blow up or something. All that you can do is treat them with the utmost respect."
Hundreds of people have been to see the whales in the town since they were discovered.
Workers spent Tuesday moving the creatures and covering them with sand before their removal.
A huge operation to remove three of the four sperm whales which washed up on the Lincolnshire coast at the weekend is taking place - and will last into the early hours of the morning. One of the whales will be taken to a landfill site in Sheffield. You may find some images in Kate Hemingway's report upsetting.
Work has begun to remove three dead whales which were washed up on the Lincolnshire coast.
The sperm whales were found on the beach at Skegness at the weekend and are believed to be part of the same pod as others found in Hunstanton, Norfolk, and Wainfleet in Lincolnshire.
The operation to remove them is expected to take between six and eight hours. Contractor Jan Smith said the whales will be taken to landfill sites in Didcot, Oxfordshire, and Sheffield
The process will see the whales rolled over, placed into a tarpaulin and lifted on to a low loader and driven away. Fourteen people will be involved in the disposal.
Work to remove the whales stranded on the Lincolnshire Coast is expected to get under way later today.
Yesterday, the whale carcasses on Skegness beach were covered in sand to stop movement.
Two of the sperm whales which are on the south of the beach are to be moved by a contractor to central beach where the third whale is lying.
They will all then be moved together.
Lincolnshire Police have launched an inquiry after images were circulating on social media this morning of a person apparently removing teeth from one of the whales washed up on the Lincolnshire Coast.
Officers are advising people not to interfere with the carcasses of the whales, which are a species protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. The regulations state that being in possession of any part of the animal, alive or dead, or selling or exchanging any such part, is an offence punishable by six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Force lead for rural crime, Chief Inspector Jim Tyner said:
“It is not surprising that the sad deaths of these animals has generated considerable fascination and large numbers of people have been coming to Skegness to look at them. However, people need to be aware that touching the creatures is a risk to health and taking ‘trophies’ is against the law. Anyone removing teeth or other parts of the whales may be committing a serious offence, the penalty for which can be quite significant”.
The whale carcasses on Skegness beach are being covered in sand to stop movement - before they are finally removed.
Two of the sperm whales which washed ashore on Skegness beach will be moved by a contractor hired by East Lindsey District Council.
The two whales, which are on the south of the beach, will be moved to central beach, where the third whale is lying. They will all then be moved together.
Lincolnshire Police are investigating after a man reportedly took teeth from one of the stranded whales in Skegness.
It's thought a man removed the teeth from the whale near the clock tower overnight.
Chief Insp Jim Tyner, from Lincolnshire Police, says if the man is found guilty he faces an unlimited fine, or a six month jail sentence, under the Conservation of Habitats and Special Regulations law 2010.
East Lindsey District Council says three of four sperm whales, stranded on Skegness beach, are likely to be removed within the next 48 hours - as permission is now in place.
Three whales were discovered over the weekend. A fourth was stranded at Wainfleet just down the coast from Skegness yesterday afternoon.
The Zoological Society has warned more whales could become stranded over the next few days as others have been discovered in recent weeks in places including Norfolk, Germany and the Netherlands.
HM Coastguard says another whale has washed up near Wainfleet. The area is currently inaccessible but the Zoological Society has been informed.