Suffolk minke whale carcass towed from Orford mud flats

Minke whale near Orford in Suffolk Image copyright Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Image caption The minke whale near Orford was found on Sunday

The carcass of a whale which washed up on the Suffolk coast has been removed.

The minke whale was spotted near Orford on Saturday, but the inaccessibility of the River Ore's mud flats meant experts could not carry out post-mortem tests on it.

The whale was towed to a quay at about 12:00 BST and taken away by lorry by an authorised contractor, New Orford Town Trust said.

It was one of three dead whales, but experts said they were not linked.

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The minke, which was "less than 20ft in length", weighed about one-and-a-half tonnes, Kara Reed, clerk of the Trust, said.

Image copyright New Orford Town Trust
Image caption The minke was towed to the quay at Orford earlier

"In 13 years of working for the trust I have never had to deal with a whale," Ms Reed said.

"It was very sad."

The whale had been tethered on the mud flats since Monday to stop it from floating away and was towed about one mile by boat at high tide, she said.

It was taken to Orford quay and then removed by lorry for "disposal".

The minke was the first of three dead whales to be seen along that part of the Suffolk coast.

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

On Wednesday the body of a 30ft (9m) female fin whale which washed up on the beach at Felixstowe on Sunday was removed.

The third whale, believed to be a sperm whale, which was spotted off the coast on Monday is thought to have floated back out to sea.

Scientists from the Cetaceans Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) said the three deaths were "coincidental" and not thought to be in any way linked.

Image caption The fin whale was removed from the beach at Felixstowe on Wednesday

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