Video and photo gallery: Dead minke whale discovered on Cromer beach

A whale washed up on Cromer beach.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A whale washed up on Cromer beach.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The dead whale discovered washed up on Cromer east beach this morning (Friday) has been identified as a minke whale.

The 25 foot long mammal was found 800 metres from the pier and is attracting crowds of people.

Carl Chapman, regional co-ordinator of Seawatch Foundation, said on the Norfolk Cetaceans blog today the animal was an adult/young adult female and had been dead for between one to two weeks.

Police and the Sheringham and Cromer Coastguard were called but the matter has been passed on to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).

Jerry Woodley, station officer of Sheringham Coastguard, said: 'It is quite a rare sighting on the beaches of north Norfolk. We do get porpoises washed up but this is the first time I have seen a minke whale.'

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Mr Woodley added a dead basking shark was washed up on Sheringham beach about 20 years ago but this was the first time a whale had been discovered in the area for 30 years.

The last time a dead minke was stranded on a north Norfolk beach was on July 25 1969 on Weybourne.

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Mr Chapman said: 'Given that the herring shoals offshore have been outlandishly extraordinary this year it is a possibility the whale has been capitalising on the herring shoals. It is great that minkes are around but sad this one has died.' He added it was not common for dead minke whales to be stranded on shore and it was not clear how the creature on Cromer beach had died.

Mr Chapman said it could have been caused by a ship strike because the whale's upper jaw had a clean cut.

The animal had been washed up by the northerly winds and high tide.

A NNDC spokesman said the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme did not want to investigate the death because of the amount of time the whale had been dead and because it did not die on land.

If the mammal is not washed out to sea tonight the council will have to remove it this weekend.

The spokesman added the discovery was 'a great shame' and advised people to keep dogs away from the whale and not to touch it.

Father and son Roy and Eric Young, 80 and 42 respectively, saw the creature from the Rocket House Cafe at about 11.30am.

Roy, from Aylsham, said: 'It is very sad.'

Holidaymaker Terry Wright, 70, saw the mammal while he was walking his dog alongside the east beach.

'I have never seen anything like that before. It is the first time I have seen a whale,' he added.

There have been several sightings of a 40 foot long humpback whale, nicknamed Scroby Dick, off the Norfolk coast recently by fishermen.

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