Dog walkers discover 15ft whale washed up on beach in Hartlepool

The 10ft mammal was found on Tuesday 16 August at around 7am. Credit: Gazette Media Syndication

Early morning dog walkers in Hartlepool found a dead whale washed up on the beach.

The 15ft mammal was found beached in Seaton Carew, in Hartlepool, on Tuesday 16 August at about 7am.

It was seen lying on the sand near to the Little Tern bird nesting ground. It is unclear what time the animal, believed to be a Sowerby's beaked whale, washed up on the shore.

Graeme Measor, who lives in Seaton Carew, said: "I was just walking the dogs. It was really sad to see such a beautiful and graceful creature dead on the beach like that.

"But, they are native to the waters and it is nature I suppose. I have lived here 13 years and never seen a whale washed up before."

Staff from Hartlepool Borough Council's environmental services team attended the scene and covered the dead creature.

A spokesperson said: "It was later lifted off the sand and removed from the beach as humanely as possible using our beach cleaning tractor."

A team from the Institute of Zoology, in London, will travel to the region to carry out an autopsy as part of a programme which looks at why whales wash up on the shores.

The Sowerby's beaked whale, also known as the North Atlantic or North Sea beaked whale, is a species of toothed whale.

The young whale is born at between 8-9ft long and they can grow up to 18ft and weigh up to 2,900lb. Their diet consists of squid and small fish.

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