People urged to stay away from huge dead whale washed up on Fistral Beach in Newquay

  • Watch: Large whale washes up on Cornish beach

A juvenile fin whale has washed up on a beach in Cornwall.

The 16-metre-long whale was "very undernourished" before its death, according to marine life experts.

A live whale was seen swimming off Pentire Headland on Tuesday 14 November and experts believe this may be the same whale. A post-mortem will now be carried out to determine its cause of death.

Crowds have been seen heading to the popular beach to look at the whale this morning, prompting an appeal from police for people to stay away.

People are being asked to stay away from the whale. Credit: ITV News

Marine strandings data officer Anthea Hawtrey-Collier, from Cornwall Wildlife Trust, told ITV News the animal appears to be very undernourished and so was probably "very unwell".

She said: "Until we do a full post-mortem, which the Cornwall marine pathology team will be undertaking, we cannot speculate what has caused the illness and why this animal might be dead."

She added: "It's a beautiful animal and it's a very awful sight for people to see but it's also an incredibly educational sight.

"Part of the Marine Strandings Network is the value of looking at dead animals is that we can get information and understanding that we cannot gain when they're alive in the wild."

People are being asked to avoid the area. Credit: ITV News West Country

Devon and Cornwall Police said there is a multiple-agency presence on the beach and people are being asked to avoid the area.

A spokesperson for the force said: "A number of emergency services and partner agencies are currently on Fistral Beach following a report of a dead whale having been located.

"Members of the public are asked to avoid the area at this time."