ZSL study stranded whales
Friday 8 September 2006
On Thursday 31st August, two northern bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus) were found stranded but alive on a beach in Skegness.
A ZSL veterinary team went to the stranding site to provide veterinary care and assistance and to work with members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) who were attempting to rescue the whales.
Whilst the ZSL team was on route to the site, one of the stranded whales (a juvenile or sub-adult female) sadly died. Unfortunately, the second whale (a juvenile or sub-adult male) did not survive the re-floatation and rescue attempt, and was found dead a short distance away the following day.
The ZSL team, together with members of Marine Environmental Monitoring (MEM), subsequently conducted an extensive post mortem on each of the whales. Follow up tests are currently being performed and the initial findings of the post mortems will be released shortly.
Another whale of the same species was found earlier this year in the river Thames, when another rescue attempt was undertaken by BDMLR and assisted by members of the same ZSL veterinary team.
Both the ZSL and MEM teams are part of the collaborative Defra funded UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, which has been monitoring causes of mortality in UK stranded marine mammals since 1990.