Whale carcass removed from Hunstanton beach

A lorry leaves Hunstanton beach with the body of the whale. Photo: MARIA RIX ANL-161002-163318001
A lorry leaves Hunstanton beach with the body of the whale. Photo: MARIA RIX ANL-161002-163318001
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The body of a 45ft sperm whale which became stranded on old Hunstanton beach last week has now been removed.

The huge mammal, weighing between 25 and 30 tonnes, was believed to have been taken away in a lorry on Tuesday lunchtime.

It was pronounced dead last Thursday night, despite the best attempts of recurers, after it failed to swim away during the aftetnoon high tide.

It washed ashore on a section of beach belonging to the Le Strange Estate, a mile north of the Le Strange Arms in the town.

The responsibility for removing the whale laid with the estate, who confirmed that the condition of the animal played a big part in its quick removal, following post mortem tests last Friday.

It was the sixth sperm whale, and the second in Hunstanton, to be found along the North Sea coast in the last two weeks.

The first stranding came when a whale washed up at Hunstanton beach on January 23.

It was taken away to be incinerated in Lincolnshire.

West Norfolk Council, who were responsible for the removal of the first sperm whale, said the cost of that operation was in the region of £14,000.

On Wednesday, a minke whale became the latest animal corpse to be found on Norfolk beaches after being washed up at Weybourne, near Sheringham.

The badly-decomposed body had been gradually rolling down the coast after first being spotted at Salthouse last month.

There have now been 30 whale deaths in the North Sea this year.

Investigations are continuing into the recent state of deaths along the east coast.

The Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, which examines all whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings in the UK, is working to establish why the whales came ashore and how they died.

This could help establish what the whales, thought to have come from the same bachelor pod normally living off the west coast of Norway, were doing in the North 
Sea.

One theory is that the male whales could have taken a wrong turn while heading south to find females or been lured by food.