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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
Trapped whale's body is recovered
Dead whale
The whale became beached in shallow water
The body of a whale which was put down by marine experts after it strayed into a Suffolk river is being taken to Essex for incineration.

The northern bottlenose became beached in shallow water under the Orwell Bridge in the River Orwell near Ipswich on Friday.

Experts said it would almost certainly have died of starvation or dehydration if it had not been put down.

At high tide, shortly after lunchtime, experts removed the whale.

It was pulled into Ipswich Docks in the recovery operation and taken to an animal incinerator plant in Essex for disposal.

Samples taken

Over the weekend crowds had gathered on the banks of the river as divers in boats tried to coax the whale back to the North Sea.

Tim Wass from the RSPCA said: "It was a disappointing end to what had been a very difficult week for the team in Suffolk.

"They had only just redeployed back to the county from working on the humanitarian and animal aid stuff in Gloucester.

"Samples will now be taken to try and establish how or why the whale came ashore.

"Strandings are always difficult and on this particular occasion we learnt a lot of lessons from the work that we did with the London whale a couple of years ago."

The whale's body was taken for disposal

Whale trapped in river put down
28 Jul 07 |  Suffolk

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