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Last Updated: Wednesday June 01 2011 14:13 GMT

Stranded whale probably died after it 'got lost'

Watch more about the whale stranded on Redcar beach

The whale that died on a beach in north-east England probably got into trouble after getting lost.

The huge sperm whale became stranded on on Tuesday, and rescuers weren't able to save it.

Experts say that it shouldn't have been in that area of water, and would have moved into the North Sea by accident.

They also said moving the 20 tonne whale back into the water would have been cruel - because there's not enough food in the area.

Rescuers hosed the whale with water to try and keep it wet
Rescuers hosed the whale with water to try and keep it wet

At more than 13m long, a massive operation to save the whale was launched when it was found early on Tuesday morning.

Rescuers and experts were called to the beach in Redcar, spraying it to try and keep it wet.

In the end though, they said moving the giant whale back into the water would not have been fair.

"While we have whales in the North Sea, it is not a suitable environment for a sperm whale because the food supply is not there," said Richard Illderton, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

"If we were able to put the animal back out to sea, all we would be doing is putting it back out to starve, which is massively cruel and against what we want to do."