Wales

Post-mortem tests carried out on Dee Estuary beached fin whale

The recovery of the whale Image copyright CSIP-ZSL
Image caption The recovery of the 41 foot whale was described as "lengthy"

Tests have been carried out on a young beached whale that died after getting stranded for a third time on a stretch of Welsh coastline.

Initial post-mortem results suggest the 41 foot (12.5m) fin whale calf died of injuries consistent with being beached.

The mammal, thought to be about a year old, died after getting beached in the Dee Estuary in Flintshire on Sunday - two days after first getting stranded.

The fin whale, the third to be beached in the last year, will have more tests.

The initial report from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme - UK Strandings said the whale was "judged to be in moderate-poor nutritional condition, with no evidence of recent feeding".

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRescuers initially hoped for good news after seeing the whale swim to sea

"The findings from the gross examination are currently considered to be consistent with live stranding of a nutritionally compromised and out of habitat individual," the report concluded.

It had hoped the whale had returned to sea on Friday evening after volunteers and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue had refloated it, and the whale was seen swimming out to sea.

But the mammal was found again on Sunday morning where rescue teams from a distance said there was "no signs of life left".

The whale was tested at a nearby dock after the body was recovered by Natural Resources Wales.

The report added: "A wide range of samples and data were collected during the course of the examination and will help inform research on this species and shed light on the threat's cetaceans face in UK waters.

"This is the third fin whale to be reported in the UK this year, over the last five-year period 17 fin whales have been reported stranded in the UK."

More on this story