Rare Female "Sperm Whale!"
Sadly a Sperm Whale Live Stranded on Perranporth Beach a few miles west of Newquay which was the first female to have starnded in the UK since Strandings were recorded.
As Senior British Diver Marine Live Rescue Marine Mammal Medics in Newquay Chris and I were on our way to attempt to disentangle a young Grey Seal at a local seal Haul out site when Dan Jarvis our Area co-ordinator sent out an immediate call to action to go to Perranporth Beach where a Sperm Whale had just live Stranded....I thought maybe I had misheard and repeated "Sperm Whale?"....as the Cornish Coastline isn't an expected area of Sperm Whale Foraging, certainly not this close inshore, as they would usually hunt cephalopod, (squid )and fish deep off the Continental shelf but the females usually staying with calves in the area of the Azores .
The huge Beautiful Female was lying on her side as we arrived and we immediately assessed her condition before working as a team to keep her body cool in the blazing July sun. Its was tragically difficult as there really isn't much can be done when such a huge Cetacean Strands...there body's just aren't designed to be out of the water and all her weight was crushing her internal structures as she lay helpless , tide still racing in! Within 2 hours of stranding the 38ft marine mammal took her last breath, confirmed by BDMLR vet. It was very emotional.
People flocked in their hundreds to see this magnifiscent and rare to our waters whale, as the team recorded her size and appearance for Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine strandings and readied her for Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme post-mortem the following day.