13.5 meter whale washes up on Zeeland beach

A sperm whale washed up on a beach near Domburg in Zeeland, 1 Dec 2017
A sperm whale washed up on a beach near Domburg in Zeeland, 1 Dec 2017Photo: Stichting Strandexploitatie Veere / Facebook

A whale of around 13.5 meters long washed up on a beach near Domburg in Zeeland on Friday morning. The dead animal is an adult male sperm whale, one of the largest predators in the animal kingdom, NU.nl reports.

The police closed down the area around the whale. How the animal died is not yet clear, a spokesperson for First Aid for Marine Mammals said to the newspaper. "He took a wrong turn in any case", the spokesperson said. "It may be that, in order to mate with a female, he swam from the Arctic Ocean towards the equator and ended up in the southern North Sea." According to the organization, the water here is too shallow for the animal to orient itself. 

Employees of Naturalis and the faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht are at the scene to investigate the cause of the whale's death. The animal will be cut into pieces and then removed from the beach. This is expected to take all day.

A male sperm whale can be up to 19 meters long and weigh up to 50 tons. Female sperm whales are somewhat smaller, mostly not exceeding lengths of around 11 meters. 

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