A 60ft whale has died after being found washed up on the shore of a beach on the Orkney Islands.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) team in Orkney were alerted to a large whale in distress at Echnaloch Bay, Burray on the morning of July 13.
The medics were able to identify it as a stranded fin whale and said it was not entangled, but due to its compromised condition and size, its prognosis was poor.
At around 60ft long, it was not possible to move the whale safely or euthanise it to ease its suffering.
Medics and the St Margaret’s Hope coastguard team remained on the scene to manage the situation, but sadly confirmed that the whale had died at 9pm.
A statement from BDMLR Orkney said: “After assessment and consultation with the BDMLR veterinary consultant and our colleagues at the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS), the animal was confirmed to be in poor nutritional health and showing signs of a previous stranding.”
The charity requested that the public keep their distance from the whale as it could be carrying a zoonotic disease which can be passed to humans. They also wanted to make sure the animal was kept calm in its final hours.
Anyone who finds a stranded whale, dolphin or porpoise on the beach is asked not to return the animal to sea as it may need treatment. Instead, the public must contact the BDMLR rescue hotline or the Scottish SPCA.