Suffolk whale deaths 'unlikely to be linked'

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Media captionAn aerial view of the dead whale at Felixstowe

A third dead whale has been found by experts investigating the deaths of two others found along the Suffolk coast.

A 30ft (9m) decomposed whale washed up on the beach at Felixstowe on Sunday and the body of a minke whale was spotted near Orford on Saturday.

Scientists from the Cetaceans Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) say there is now a third dead whale off the coast.

They do not think the deaths are linked.

The third whale floating off the Suffolk coast is thought to be a sperm whale, Rob Deaville, from CSIP, said.

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Media captionDead whale attracts the crowds at Felixstowe

He believes the whale on the beach at Felixstowe is a fin whale and a large injury on its body is the result of it being struck by a vessel "some time ago, perhaps hundreds of miles away".

CSIP - which attends cases of whales, porpoises and dolphins that become stranded on the UK coastline - is currently examining the Felixstowe whale.

It is too decomposed to carry out a full post-mortem test but samples have been taken to assist with analysis in terms of whale population, Mr Deaville said.

The Orford whale stranded on mud flats on the tidal River Ore will be "tricky to get to", Mr Deaville said.

Image caption An area close to Felixstowe Pier was sealed off on Sunday when the decomposed body of a whale washed up

However, he does not believe the deaths are in any way related.

"Three very different species, and in my opinion, they're not linked," he said.

"It's a series of coincidental events.

"We see hundreds of strandings a year, it just happens that these three are in close proximity."

Image caption The body of the whale in Felixstowe is expected to be moved on Wednesday
Image copyright Felixstowe Coast Patrol Rescue Service
Image caption The whale at Felixstowe died after being hit by a ship, experts said

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Coastal and Waveney Councils said contractors were expected to remove the whale from the beach at Felixstowe on Wednesday.

It is not yet known when the body of the Orford whale will be moved.

Image caption The whale on the beach at Felixstowe is about 30ft (9m) long
Image caption The minke whale is on mud flats in the River Ore

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