An autopsy is to be conducted on a 19-metre-long whale that died after getting stranded in the northern port of Calais, French animal experts said on Sunday.
The fin whale, which weighed roughly 15 tonnes, is said to have beached itself after being wounded, which is an unusual occurrence in the area. Jacky Karpouzopoulos of the CMNF animal protection group said: ‘It is a female, about 30 years old. She was sick but she reached the port of Calais still alive, then she went too close to the rocks and ran aground on Saturday’.
According to Karpouzopoulos, the whale will be towed to a location on Tuesday, where an autopsy could be performed.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated fin whales, the world’s second-largest animal species after the blue whale, as vulnerable. Whales of various types can be seen in the waters surrounding France. A humpback whale was discovered washed up on a beach in the Mediterranean south of France earlier this year.