19m long dead whale washed ashore

Animal experts are preparing to examine the carcass of a giant fin whale at the port of Calais, northern France.

The carcass of a fin whale washed up in the port of Calais last weekend.  Photo: AFP

The carcass of a fin whale washed up in the port of Calais last weekend. Photo: AFP

According to conservation organization CMNF, the creature was discovered stranded on the coast of Calais on the afternoon of November 6. It is up to 19 m long, weighs about 15 tons and is a 30 year old female.

“The whale was still alive when it arrived at port. It appeared to have fallen ill and separated itself from the herd,” CMNF head Jacky Karpouzopoulos told AFP. This is a rare phenomenon in the area.

Due to poor health and injuries caused by rocks when stranded, the animal died before rescue efforts could be made. In a statement yesterday, authorities said they will move the whale carcass to another area for an autopsy on 9/11, then process the body for cremation.

The fin whale died with many serious injuries on its body.  Photo: AFP

The fin whale died with many serious injuries on its body. Photo: AFP

The fin whale or grayback whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is the second largest living mammal on Earth after the blue whale. They can grow to a length of 24 m in the Northern Hemisphere and 27 m in the Southern Hemisphere.

This baleen whale mainly eats small fish, squid and crustaceans. Adults can consume up to two tons of food per day.

Although distributed in most of the world’s oceans, fin whales are currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat pollution and overfishing.

Doan Duong (Follow AFP)

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