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Last Updated: Tuesday February 23 2010 17:17 GMT

Whale washed up on Cornish beach

Fin whale

A dead fin whale has been washed up on a beach in Cornwall.

Wildlife experts reckon the female whale, that measures 17m long, died after being hit by a large ship out at sea.

The whale was spotted floating in the water five days ago before it washed up on the Porthtowan beach on Sunday evening.

People living nearby have been urged not to go near the whale as it could be carrying disease.

It's rare for whales like this to become stranded and a Cornwall Wildlife Trust expert said it's most likely the whale strayed into the path of an oncoming ship before being hit.

Fin Whale
The whale was spotted five days earlier

Fin whales are the second largest animals in the world and are seen most winters off the coast of Cornwall.

It's now likely that the whale will be used to help experts learn more about the huge creatures.

In the meantime Cornwall Council is looking at the best way to remove the whale from the beach.



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