North West Wales

Rare whale stranded on Newborough beach, Anglesey

Stranded mammal refloated Image copyright Amy Daniel
Image caption There are concerns the whale, which is common in waters off west Africa, could strand itself again

Rescuers have refloated a stranded whale after it landed on a north Wales beach.

They were called to Newborough on Anglesey amid reports a porpoise had become stranded.

Experts believe the mammal is a young pygmy sperm whale and was approximately six foot in length.

Dr Peter Evans, director of the Anglesey-based Sea Watch Foundation, said there are concerns the mammal could strand itself again.

He said the small mammals looked like a porpoise in size but had a distinctive shaped head.

Dr Evans said such sightings are very rare in British waters with a dwarf sperm whale spotted in 2011 off Cornwall.

The coastguard, RSPCA and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were among the rescuers.

Phil Lewis, the Wales co-ordinator for the BDMLR and the RSPCA, said the whale was last seen at 14:40 (GMT) in deeper water, heading out towards the Irish sea.

Pygmy sperm whales are more common in the warmer waters off west Africa.

Mr Lewis added: "They are mostly found in southern waters.

"It is certainly a rare sight off Anglesey."

Image copyright John Legg, British Divers Marine Life Rescue
Image caption The whale, which could be a pygmy or dwarf sperm, is rescued after it landed on a beach on Anglesey
Image copyright Wendy Challis-Jones
Image caption Rescuers on the beach come to the aid of the stranded whale and head for the sea
Image copyright Wendy Challis-Jones
Image caption The whale was carried into the water on a stretcher
Image copyright Wendy Challis-Jones
Image caption Free again... the whale is released back into the sea, safe and sound

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