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Decomposed body of young whale found on Southwold beach

PUBLISHED: 13:52 31 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:01 31 May 2020

The remains of the baby whale on Southwold beach. Picture: SIMON TOBIN

The remains of the baby whale on Southwold beach. Picture: SIMON TOBIN

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A second dead whale has washed up on a beach in the region – this time the remains of a decomposed baby whale have turned up at Southwold on Sunday morning.

The whale's body was washed up on Southwold beach early on Sunday. Picture: SIMON TOBINThe whale's body was washed up on Southwold beach early on Sunday. Picture: SIMON TOBIN

The body was found by former Southwold mayor Simon Tobin during a morning walk along the beach near the harbour and Lord Nelson pub. Shortly after he took these pictures, coastguards arrived to cordon off the remains and arrange for the removal.

Mr Tobin said: “It is very sad to find something like this on the beach. It looked like a baby whale, but it was badly decomposed. I could tell it wasn’t a porpoise or dolphin – but I don’t know what kind of whale it was.

“It must have been washed ashore at high tide in the early hours of the morning. It hadn’t been there when I was on the beach yesterday. But I don’t know how long it had been dead, some time by the look of it and it was decomposing on the beach.”

Mr Tobin said a group of people had gathered near the cordon to see the remains – but they would not remain there long. “The coastguards were bringing in a digger to take it away and carry it to be disposed of,” he said.

The whale was found by former Southwold mayor Simon Tobin. Picture: SIMON TOBINThe whale was found by former Southwold mayor Simon Tobin. Picture: SIMON TOBIN

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The discovery came just two days after the carcass of a 40-foot fin whale was washed up at Holland-on-Sea near Clacton. That was removed on Saturday after becoming a landmark for people visiting the beach in the fine weather.

Essex police and council officials had to warn people to stay away from the area because of fears that they could find it difficult to observe social distancing rules.

At Southwold, some people did come to see what was happening but there were no indications of large crowds on the Suffolk beach following Sunday morning’s grim discovery.

Mr Tobin said the second death was particularly sad: “It was not very large so I suspect it was very young. It’s certainly not the kind of thing you want to find on a popular beach but at least it is being dealt with quickly.”

There have been more reports of dead whales being found on North Sea beaches over recent years, including several on beaches in Norfolk.

Some experts have suggested that the increased numbers of bodies being washed up is an indication that whale numbers in the seas around Britain could be recovering after decades of decline.


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