Removal of Hunstanton whale is under way

The dead sperm whale on the beach at Hunstanton in January. Picture: Ian Burt

The dead sperm whale on the beach at Hunstanton in January. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Contractors have moved onto the beach to remove the body of a 35ft sperm whale which washed up a week ago.

The dead sperm whale is still attracting visitors to Hunstanton beach. Picture: Ian Burt

The dead sperm whale is still attracting visitors to Hunstanton beach. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Skip lorries have driven onto the beach near the lighthouse ready to move the whale, which is being cut up into pieces.

A West Norfolk council spokesman said: 'Contractors are now removing the whale from Hunstanton beach and it is hoped that this task will be finished in the next few hours. The remains of the whale will be transported to an out-of-county licensed animal incineration facility.

'The council is urging people to stay away from that area of the beach, as the job of removing the whale is not a pleasant sight and its advanced state of decomposition means there is a foul stench in the air.

'The costs of removing and disposing of the whale are still being added up, but they are likely to total several thousand pounds.'

The dead sperm whale washed up on the beach at Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

The dead sperm whale washed up on the beach at Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The creature was one of a number seen swimming off the resort last Friday afternoon. It died despite efforts to save it after becoming beached on rocks.

The following day, three further whales - believed to have been part of the same pod - washed up on the beach at Skegness, on the other side of The Wash.

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Thousands flocked to see the animals. But officials feared they would become a health hazard as they decomposed.

The three Skegness whales were removed earlier this week, along with a whale which washed up on a firing range at Wainfleet, and taken to landfill.