Mid Wales

Clarach Bay, Aberystwyth, Sowerby's beaked whale body is removed

The whale on Clarach Bay beach
Image caption The rare ocean-going Sowerby's beaked whale washed on the beach at Clarach Bay

The body of a whale has been removed from a mid Wales beach following a post-mortem examination.

The rare Sowerby's beaked whale was discovered in Clarach Bay, near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, on Thursday afternoon.

Scientists said the probable cause of death was malnutrition as its blubber was thinner than would be expected.

They confirmed the whale, usually found in deep ocean waters, was alive when it became stranded.

Dr Paul Jepson, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Zoology in London, said the whale, a male, would have died on the beach.

"At the moment the cause of death is open but we do know the animal was alive when it stranded on the beach.

"The blubber was thinner than normal.

"We don't see that many Sowerby's beaked whales to have a good handle on what a normal blubber layer is but the animal did look underweight to some degree and that would explain more than any other thing why the animal would have stranded."

Tissue samples have been taken to find its age.

Ceredigion council workers removed the whale carcass on Friday afternoon.

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