Why Did 16 Whales From The Same Pod Die In The North Sea? Four More Found Dead

Why Did 16 Whales From The Same Pod Die In The North Sea? Four More Found Dead

Whales are continuing to wash-up on British shores and they are causing a fair amount of problems (and concern). While the number of whales has many alarmed, what is also alarming is the number of people desecrating the bodies of the mammals and even taking selfies with the corpses.

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A fifth sperm whale has been found dead on the British coast today – taking the death toll from the same North Sea pod to 17.

The 30-tonne corpse was discovered five miles from Skegness where three more bodies washed up yesterday and across The Wash from Hunstanton in Norfolk where another was found on Saturday.

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A build-up of methane gas caused one of the whales to explode today as marine biologists carrying out a post-mortem examination cut at its skin and blubber, with shocked witnesses describing a bang and a ‘huge blast of air’ followed by a foul stench.

It came as security guards were brought in to stop scavengers attacking the corpses for trophies after anti-nuclear campaigners graffitied at least one of the giant carcasses.

The fifth sperm whale was found at Wainfleet this afternoon on a stretch of coastal marshland used by the RAF as a weapons range before it closed in 2009, where the Dambusters practiced with bouncing bombs before their Second World War raids.

Brian Long, from King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, said today security guards are needed to stop trophy hunters hacking off body parts but most came to take selfies of themselves with the dead whale.

He said: ‘We don’t want to see people scavenging, as it has happened before’ the animal’s skin, blubber, teeth and blood was being tested today to establish its cause of death before being cut ‘section by section’ and removed by specialists.

Meanwhile environmentalists sprayed the message ‘Fukushima RIP – man killed me’ and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament logo on one of the Skegness whales as investigators consider why the 17 ‘lost’ sperm whales from the same pod were all washed up dead on North Sea coastline.

Twelve more sperm whales, believed to be from the same all-male pod, have washed up dead on the Dutch island of Texel and the German islands of Wangerooge and Helgoland since January 9.

Experts are still unsure why so many in the pod have died, with some suggesting that they starved to death after chasing their favourite food, squid, into shallower waters and getting beached.

Environmentalists say submarines cause whale deaths by blasting them with sonar, which can disorientate or even deafen them, and there are claims a Russian submarine has been working in North Sea waters near Scotland in recent weeks.

This could have confused the pod and seen them panic and split up before ending up lost and stuck in shallow North Sea waters it’s impossible to escape from.

Researchers at the University of St Andrews have previously said that the noise made by offshore wind farms can interfere with a whale’s sonar, and can in tragic cases see them driven onto beaches where they often die.

The four tragic whales found washed up on British beaches make up the average number of whale deaths in the UK in a year.

They are believed to be part of the same all-male group as 12 more found dead around Holland and Germany last week.

Police ruled out prosecuting the graffiti artists – because the whales don’t belong to anyone.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: ‘There is an incident log set up in relation to the whales just to make sure all the correct authorities are notified.

‘But in relation to the graffiti, there is no case the police are looking into. Normally graffiti is on a wall or something similar so it would account to criminal damage as it is owned by somebody.

‘Whales are not owned by anybody and where there is no criminal damage the only other thing is the message and if it causes offence.

‘That is not the case but it is a really horrible thing to do. With whales, they can blow up with the gases building inside them and there is the potential for explosion so we have had officers there looking at the cordon and to make sure no one is harmed.’

A spokesperson for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said the action was not carried out by by the organisation at a national level but added it recognised many people have ‘very strong views on nuclear disarmament’.

I understand possessing a certain amount of curiosity about the off abundance of dead whales, but it is beyond gruesome to desecrate the bodies to advance a political agenda.

By all means, if activists see a linkage between nuclear power and the dead whales, invite a conversation about it. But maybe we can not desecrate the bodies of these unfortunate animals? Hmm?…

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