Saturday, October 1, 2011

Giant Whale found in a field in UK?

A dead baleen whale was found in a Yorkshire field this week, about 800 meters away from the shoreline, off the Humber Estuary in England.

Experts are fairly confident the animal is a rare female sei whale, Balaenoptera borealis, according to The Telegraph. The whale is 33 feet (10 meters) long.

It is believed to have got stuck in shallow waters nearby. Andy Gibson from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust told The Telegraph that there have only been three strandings of this species in UK waters during the last two decades.

"It is sad," he added. "It was in shallow water of about 1.2m (4ft) to 1.6m (5.25ft), making contact with the bottom."

"When it gets in that situation it rolls onto its side and it can cover its blow hole."

However, it remains a mystery as to how the whale ended up so far away from the sea.

Kirsten Smith, North Seas Living Seas manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said the area is a salt marsh, which is still connected to the sea, according to the Express.

"With the high tide the whale probably got carried up on to the salt marsh, got pushed further in shore and then got stuck when the tide went out," she added.

However, the whale, weighing several tons, was found lying in the middle of vegetation, making it hard to imagine how such shallow water could have transported it there.

For someone to move the whale there, a vehicle would be required, which would have left tracks, and any motivations for moving the mammal are unclear, except to harvest the meat or as some sort of prank perhaps
showing the dead whale lying in grass about half a mile away from the sea.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

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