Tuesday 19 February 2019

Killer whale washes up on Irish beach

Jennifer McShane

A female killer whale, or Orca, washed up on a beach in Co Waterford yesterday.

The female whale was 5 metres long and washed up on a beach at Saleen, near Tramore in Co Waterford yesterday afternoon.

31/01/2015. A 16ft Killer Whale washed ashore at Saleens Beach, Tramore, Co Waterford. Picture: Patrick Browne
31/01/2015. A 16ft Killer Whale washed ashore at Saleens Beach, Tramore, Co Waterford. Picture: Patrick Browne

The whale was discovered by locals on the beach, and according to Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IDWG), the animal possibly died from malnourishment.

“The animal was in very fresh condition and all her teeth were very worn - this may have resulted in her death perhaps from malnutrition or infection.

This is the 15th stranding for this species on the IWDG cetacean strandings database and the first since 4 October 2010 in Co. Mayo,” said the IDWG on their website.

The IDWG said they hope to carry a post-mortem on the animal today by a team from IWDG and GMIT, and it is hoped the skeleton will be preserved and put on display locally, according to the group.

31/01/2015. A 16ft Killer Whale washed ashore at Saleens Beach, Tramore, Co Waterford. Picture: Patrick Browne
31/01/2015. A 16ft Killer Whale washed ashore at Saleens Beach, Tramore, Co Waterford. Picture: Patrick Browne

" This stranding comes at the end of a month which has seen a disturbingly high number of stranded cetaceans around the Irish coast,” they added.

The IDWG said they have already recorded 32 strandings of 9 identifiable species since January began. According to the team, the orca was probably an older female who will now be studied.

The group have not released any details on their post-mortem on the animal as of yet.

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