Post-mortem examinations planned as second stranded whale dies

The animals were beached on the shoreline at Culross, Fife, on Tuesday evening.

Post-mortem examinations are expected to take place after two whales stranded off the east coast of Scotland died.

The northern bottlenose whales were beached on the shoreline in Culross, Fife, on Tuesday evening.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and the South Queensferry coastguard rescue team attended but one whale died at 6am on Wednesday and the other at 2pm.

Northern bottlenose whales are understood to be rare visitors to the North Sea and can grow to 10 metres in length, feeding primarily on squid.

Bottlenose whales in the Clyde
A pod of northern bottlenose whales were spotted in and around the Clyde in autumn 2020 (Steve Truluk/PA)

The rescue charity said the carcasses are expected to be removed from the site for post-mortem examinations by the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Society.

The animals are thought to be two from a trio of the same species spotted in the Moray Firth earlier this month.

The stranding is the latest of several in the UK and comes less than two weeks after a pod of 55 whales beached in the Western Isles.

In autumn 2020, rescuers, including BDMLR, the Ministry of Defence and local volunteers, attempted to shepherd a pod of northern bottlenose whales to sea from Loch Long, Argyll, ahead of a major military exercise.

They switched to monitoring the animals from shore after unsuccessful herding attempts.

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