Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 15:12 UK

Watchful eye on lost loch whale

Northern bottle-nosed whale
A northern bottle-nose was last seen in the loch 20 years ago

Animal welfare officers are observing a northern bottle-nosed whale which has got lost in a loch.

The mammal has been seen in recent days in Loch Eil, near Fort William, in Lochaber.

The SSPCA said they were keeping an eye on the animal, which is a deep water species whose range extends to the North Atlantic and Arctic.

A whale has not been sighted in Loch Eil for almost 20 years. The last one became stranded and died.

It comes a few weeks after a 40ft sperm whale suffered a slow and painful death after becoming beached in shallow water in the Moray Firth just outside Inverness.

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Beached sperm whale dies in firth
06 Aug 08 |  Highlands and Islands

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