Cornwall

Dolphin damage 'consistent with shark'

Polly Joke Image copyright Jake O'Mahoney
Image caption The dolphin was initially found by a pet dog on Polly joke beach

A dead dolphin that washed up on a beach had injuries that could have been caused by a shark.

The creature was found on Polly Joke beach near Newquay, Cornwall on Sunday afternoon.

Rob Deaville, a UK dolphin expert, said "the damage is potentially consistent with shark bite".

Other experts believe the damage is more likely to have been caused by scavenging birds and crabs.

More on dolphin 'shark bite' and other Devon and Cornwall stories

Jake O'Mahoney was walking his dogs on the beach when one of them found the common dolphin.

'Shark bite'

Jake said: "We went over and saw it was a dolphin and it had a massive chunk out of it.

"We thought it looked like a shark bite. Some people think a boat might have hit it but it looks like a shark bite to me."

Mr Deaville, of the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, said: "The damage is potentially consistent with shark bite, we have seen similar lesions in a small number of cases in the past."

Ruth Williams, the Marine Conservation Manager with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: "You can see little peck marks around it that have been caused by sea birds and crustaceans.

"Something has injured it initially, which could have been a shark, but we don't think the whole damage is one big shark bite."

Shark scavenging on dead dolphins has been witnessed before in the South West.

Image copyright Jake O'Mahoney
Image caption The dead dolphin was found on Polly Joke beach near Newquay on Sunday

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