Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 17:36 UK

Sperm whale stranded on shoreline

Beached whale
The whale has become beached in six feet of water

A 40ft sperm whale which has been seen in the Highlands is likely to suffer a slow death after becoming beached in shallow water, experts have said.

The adult male spent much of Monday swimming in circles in the Inner Moray Firth.

It has now beached in just six feet of water on a shoreline at Aulturlie, near Inverness.

The Whale and Conservation Society said the whale will not survive when the high tide goes out.

There had been a sighting of the mammal from Chanonry Point, the Black Isle, on Tuesday morning.

Sperm whales are a deep diving species and the Moray Firth does not have the large squid they feed on.

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