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  1. ITV Report

Young sperm whale found dead on Hell's Mouth beach in north Wales

A dead sperm whale has been found washed up on a beach in North Wales.

The mammal is believed to have been stranded on Hell's Mouth beach in Gwynedd on Tuesday.

This is said to be the first time a sperm whale has washed up on a Welsh beach and has been described as unusual by marine animal experts.

People are being advised not to approach the animal's body.

This is said to be the first time a sperm whale has ever washed up on a Welsh beach although a pygmy sperm whale was found on a Carmarthenshire beach in June 2019.

A team of experts, including the Zoological Society of London, will be travelling to North Wales to examine the calf and determine a cause of death.

Sperm whales usually live in deep waters where they hunt giant squid. When a whale finds itself in shallow waters it is usually because it has lost its way.

The whale is estimated to be between two and three-years-old. It had not developed any teeth and so was likely to be still surviving on its mother's milk.

A spokesperson from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue said they believe this is the youngest wale calf ever recorded to be stranded in the UK.

They added:

Whales, dolphins and porpoises...are mammals like us humans, and therefore able to carry serious diseases that can be transmitted between us. We would advise members of the public to avoid all contact with the carcass and any bodily fluids to avoid any risk of infection from them. There is the possibility that this may have been an animal that was already ill.

– British Divers Marine Life Rescue

This news comes less than a month after a sperm whale washed up and died on the shore in Northumberland.

A rare pygmy sperm whale was also found dead on a beach in Carmarthenshire in June 2019.