Minke whale taken from Beeston beach, near Sheringham, to a pet crematorium

The dead minke whale washed up on Sheringham beach. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The dead minke whale washed up on Sheringham beach. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A rotting minke whale has been removed from a north Norfolk beach and taken to a pet crematorium.

The badly-decomposed animal, measuring about 20ft, was lifted

from its last resting place, east of Beeston Hill, near Sheringham, this morning after discussions between North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and several expert bodies, including the Receiver of Wreck - the coroner of the sea.

An NNDC spokesman said: 'The whale carcass had an estimated weight of 1.5-2 tonnes and has been taken to the Cambridge Pet Crematorium in Hertfordshire.'

It was lifted using a digger and a teleporter fork lift.

The dead whale was first washed up on Salthouse beach on January 17.

On February 9 it re-appeared at Weybourne, where it was briefly mistaken for a giant squid by three residents. The following day it was spotted draped over a wooden groyne on Sheringham beach.

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The spokesman said that because of the whale's position within a Site of Special Scientific Interest they had consulted with Natural England, the Historic Environment Service, the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, and Receiver of Wreck before making a decision on its disposal.