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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 10:46 GMT
Dead whale is discovered on beach
Photo of minke whale: Jan Loveridge, Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Marine Strandings Network
The whale was first spotted floating offshore on 28 October
Wildlife experts say they believe a minke whale washed up on a beach in Cornwall could have died after being hit by a boat.

The whale was first spotted floating offshore on 28 October before stranding the next day on the Roseland peninsula.

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Maritime Strandings volunteers said they were called to Porthbeor Beach to assess the dead nine-metre (30ft) six-tonne whale.

They said a large gash to its head could have been caused by a propeller.

Hopefully it will be washed back out to sea at the next spring tide
Joana Doyle, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

The trust said although it was unusual for whales not to notice a vessel coming, they have been known to collide when they are resting or feeding.

Joana Doyle from the trust said: "It's on Porthbeor Beach at the moment and is already quite decomposed.

"Hopefully it will be washed back out to sea at the next spring tide."

CORNWALL MINKE STRANDINGS
2006: 1
2003: 2
2002: 2
2001: 2
2000: 3

Minke whales are found in most oceans of the world and often enter estuaries, bays and inlets.

They can measure up to 9.8m (32ft) and weigh up to 10 tonnes.

Maddie Precious, one of the co-ordinators of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Marine Strandings Network said: "HM Coastguard were naturally concerned about the risk to shipping of such a large, heavy object, so we're all relieved to know where it is."

The find will now be reported to the Natural History Museum's National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The whale may have died after being hit by a boat



SEE ALSO
Survey spots coastal shark life
04 Aug 07 |  Cornwall
Dead sperm whale moved from beach
14 Dec 06 |  North East/N Isles

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