Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Sperm whale stuck on rocks on Northumberland coast dies


Stranded 32ft whale dies on rocks

A 10m (32ft) sperm whale has died after becoming stranded on rocks on the Northumberland coast.

The mammal, which experts think weighed about 20 tonnes, was found at Beadnell Bay near Seahouses on Monday.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said the whale was alive for a time, but could not be saved as the tide was going out.

The organisation said it was likely the whale had suffered dehydration after losing its way.

Richard Ilderton, of the BDMLR, said the whale was too heavy to have been lifted back into the water.

He said: "This animal is definitely not local and not of these waters.

"It probably became unwell and took a wrong turn."

Sperm whales are the deepest diving mammal and the largest toothed of all whales.

They can grow up to 18m (59ft) in length and weigh up to 50 tonnes.

The mammals are found in all oceans, except the Arctic and feed on squid and other large deep-water fish.

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