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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007, 12:43 GMT
Teams recover dead humpback whale
The dead humpback whale (Picture: Paul Watson)
Teams pulled the dead whale back to the beach
A humpback whale has been found dead off the south Wales coast near Aberavon.

The animal, which is about 15ft (4.5m) long, was reported floating in the Port Talbot harbour area at 0920 GMT.

A spokesman for Swansea coastguard said Port Talbot lifeboat and a coastguard team were sent to tow the animal back to shore.

Strandings Co-ordinator for Wales, Rod Penrose, is on his way to the scene to examine the whale.

He said it was possible the dead animal was the same humpback whale which had been spotted in Swansea Bay last month.

However Mr Penrose said he was not certain it was the same one.

Samples

He said if the animal had recently died a pathologist from London Zoo was on standby to carry out a post mortem examination on the whale on Sunday.

If it has been dead for some time, Mr Penrose said he would take some samples from the animal himself.

Mr Penrose said he understood a large number of people had gathered on the beach to see the whale.

He said humpbacks were not common around Wales.

"There has been an example of one or two in the Irish Sea but it's quite a rarity in UK waters."


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