Body of whale is towed away from beach near Pwllheli

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The whale is towed away from the beach
Image caption,
The dead minke whale is towed away from the remote beach

Maritime officers in Gwynedd have succeeded in moving the body of a baby minke whale off a remote beach.

The mammal, which measured 7.6m (about 25ft), was found washed up near the Hafan y Môr holiday park outside Pwllheli on Sunday.

Bad weather had prevented it from being removed but on Wednesday experts towed it by sea to Pwllheli.

The whale was then being taken away by road.

Dave Pugh, from Shrewsbury, who has a static caravan at the holiday park, said he spotted the whale at about 0700 BST on Sunday as he walked his dalmatian on the beach.

He said he another man watched the whale floating around on the tide for a while.

"We thought it was a leatherback turtle at first, then we realised it was too big. It toook three quarters of an hour to come to shore," he added.

A pathologist from London Zoo has carried out a post-mortem examination on the male whale.

Rod Penrose, from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, said the whale was in a very poor condition, and probably died on the beach from starvation.

Image caption,
The whale was washed up on the beach on Sunday

Gwynedd maritime officer Barry Davies said: "We were very fortunate that the operation went very well this morning. The weather was very very calm in comparison with yesterday.

"Today we've managed to bring it onto a beach where we can get a vehicle onto and remove the whale as the tide is receding."

Park security staff raised the alarm after the whale was spotted, and the council secured the area so a full assessment could take place.

The corpse had decomposed badly.

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