Another dead sperm whale washes up on Norfolk coast

A dead sperm whale has washed up on the beach in north Norfolk. 

A dead sperm whale has washed up on the beach in north Norfolk. - Credit: Jason Tooke

Another dead sperm whale has washed up on a north Norfolk beach. 

Norfolk whale expert Carl Chapman said the whale was probably a part of a pod of young males that got lost in an attempt to find their way to breeding grounds in the mid-Atlantic.

The sperm whale washed on the beach on January 5. 

The sperm whale washed on the beach on January 5. - Credit: Amy Christie


It follows a number of other beachings of sperm whale in recent weeks, including young males that washed up at King's Lynn and Weybourne, and 10 more on the east Yorkshire coast. 

MORE: Dead sperm whale washes up on Norfolk coast

The latest whale washed up near Sheringham. 

But Mr Chapman did not reveal the location, and said he discouraged sightseers from going to see it.

A dead sperm whale has washed up on the beach near Weybourne in north Norfolk. 

A sperm whale which washed up on the beach near Weybourne in north Norfolk in December. The newest beached whale, found on January 5, is believed to be of a similar size. Picture: Mary Williams - Credit: Mary Williams


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He said: "They were probably part of the same pod of juvenile males that started into the North Sea and got into trouble. They were probably on their way down to more temperate latitudes, maybe to the waters near the Azores or the mid Atlantic. 

"Effectively, they've come down the wrong side of the UK and got into shallow water." 

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Mr Chapman said the latest whale body had washed up in a position that was not easily accessible and so it had not yet been measured.

The whale is on tidal mud flats around a mile off the beach at Snettisham

A sperm whale which washed up in The Wash near King's Lynn in November. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Chris Bishop

He said the journey from the north to the tropics was not an annual migration, but something young male sperm whales did when they matured. 

He said: "The females, along with a large male, stay in the tropics and they breed down there. When the young ones are weaned off the females, the males make their way north where they grow up in these 'bachelor pods'. When they get to be 17-to-19 years old they'll move further south to breed with the females."

Mr Chapman said the beachings had nothing to do with offshore wind farms or ingesting plastic, but was something that had happened in this part of the world for thousands of years. 

He said: "It didn't occur so much in the 20th century because of whaling, but now there are more and more sperm whales it is starting to occur in the 21st century, and it will gradually get back to its former level." 



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