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Angus whale died from intestinal infection

The Sei whale pictured after washing ashore on the Angus coast. Picture: contributed

The Sei whale pictured after washing ashore on the Angus coast. Picture: contributed

  • by FRANK URQUHART
 

A GIANT 40ft whale, washed up on a popular beach in Angus last year, died from an intestinal infection, it has been revealed.

The body of the sei whale was discovered by a dog walker last September on the beach at Arbroath near the Arbroath Artisan Golf Club.

Marine experts with the Scottish Marine Animal Standings Scheme have now confirmed that the cetacean was suffering from parasitic gastroenteritis which would probably have left it unable to feed properly

SMASS coordinator Barry McGovern said: “The histopathology results confirmed parasitic gastroenteritis. We thought they would, as when we opened the intestines they were covered in small parasites the whole way through.

“This parasite burden would have led to a debilitated state and ultimately, led to its live stranding.”

He added: “We see so few of these standings that we cannot say if a death from this type of parasite is a common cause. A lot of animals we examine have parasites within them and some can function with a certain level present but eventually, it takes too much of a hold.

“This would have affected its nutrient uptake. Sei whales migrate through tropical waters and this would have come back here for feeding but would have been unable to do that because of the parasite burden.”

 

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