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Last Updated: Monday, 5 May, 2003, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Safety fears over whale carcass

The carcass of a whale is under guard after it was removed from a beach in the north east of Scotland.

The 60-tonne mammal was washed up at Cruden Bay, north of Aberdeen, over the weekend.

Grampian Police said that the 45ft long sperm whale had been dead for some time before it was washed ashore.

It had been spotted floating off shore several days earlier.

The tide eventually brought the whale into an alcove near the main harbour at Cruden Bay.

Landfill site

The area was cordoned off for safety reasons as the cause of the whale's death was unknown.

The body was removed by a crane on Sunday night and transported by lorry to a local landfill site.

The operation took place after the Scottish Executive's environment and rural affairs department instructed Aberdeenshire Council to remove the whale.

The decomposing carcass will be guarded until it can be confirmed that it does not pose a public health risk.

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