Beached whale of scientific interest

Sant Elm beach

A WHALE found dead in Sant Elm has raised interest in the scientific community, as it is a rarely seen species which lives at a great distance from the shores.

The Cuvier’s Beaked Whale has been taken to the Santa Eugenia Natura Parc Foundation, were a post mortem examination has been carried out by vets and Cetacean Specialists from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University who have travelled to Mallorca. It is believed to have been washed ashore in recent storms onto the rocks at Sant Elm and was spotted by a member of the Tursiops Association which helps to protect cetaceans. Palma Aquarium’s Marina Animals Specialists activated the protocol to recover the body and headed to the area to help the Balearic Islands’ Wild Animals Recovery Consortium, and the Department for the Environment, Agriculture and Fishery coordinate the mission. Two days later, with the help of the Guardia Civil and Andratx Town Hall, it was taken to a safe area.

The department has said that despite around 40 beached cetaceans appearing on the Balearic coasts every year, this one is of particular scientific interest.

The species can reach up to seven metres in length and weigh up to two tonnes. They normally live alone or in small groups and it is not known how many there are and where they are generally located, although they are often seen in the seas surrounding the Balearic Islands.

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