Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Sunday, 11 October 2009 15:25 UK

Dead whale washed up onto beach

Coastguard with whale carcass
Coastguards were looking after the carcass until the pathologist arrives on Sunday

A marine pathologist is examining the body of a whale, which was washed up on a holiday beach, hundreds of miles from its normal locations.

Identified as a bottle nosed northern whale, it came ashore at Talacre, Flintshire on Saturday.

There did not appear to be any injuries to the body.

Normally the whales are in groups in deep water of the north Atlantic. One of the species became stranded in the River Thames in central London in 2006.

HM Coastguard search and rescue team, based in Rhyl, were called to the scene on Saturday and were surprised by what they eventually discovered.

Team member Carl Butters said: "We got a call from a member of the public and we thought we were going to deal with a dolphin.

"But when we got there we found out it was a near-6m, two to three tonne whale. That was certainly a shock.

"We've had nothing like it here before and it's been attracting a lot of visitors from the nearby Presthaven Sands holiday park, which is just over the sand dunes."

He said the team used a tractor to move the whale's body to the shoreline.

They guarded the carcass while a marine pathologist carried out a post-mortem examination on the whale.

Mr Butters said that arrangements would be made to remove the body from the beach.

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