Officials have warned members of the public to “respect the cordon” surrounding the dead whale which is currently on Holkham beach.
It comes after the 40 foot fin whale was discovered on the beach between Burnham Overy and Holkham yesterday (Thursday, October 20) afternoon.
Holkham’s nature reserve manager Sarah Henderson said: “It is the first whale we have had washed up here since the 80s, so it’s not a regular occurence.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal to an impressive beast, but I would urge people to keep a safe distance and respect the cordon, especially as there is a risk you could pick up diseases.”
She said that the whale was first spotted in the water off of Scolt Head early yesterday morning, and that the body had now sunk down into the sand since it was first seen on land.
Ms Henderson added: “The arrangements are being made for the whale to be removed as soon as possible.”
Experts are now carrying out examinations on the mammal and are due to complete a post-mortem.
A team of officials from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) are currently working to establish why the whale died – the species of which is currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
CSIP project manager Rob Deaville, who is part of the team examining the whale today, said: “Every year there are around 600 cetacean strandings in the UK. If it is a fin whale, which we need to confirm, it will be the fourth this year, so it is uncommon but not necessarily out of the ordinary. Once we have carried out the examination, we will take samples back to the lab for testing which should help us understand why it died.”
A spokeswoman for the Holkham estate said: “The beach remains open but we advise the public not to venture close to the carcass and to keep dogs on leads.”