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Fear huge 16-metre whale washed up on UK beach may explode as locals warned to keep away

NewsFear huge 16-metre whale washed up on UK beach may explode as locals warned to keep away

A huge whale washed up on a Cornish beach has sparked fears among experts that the massive 16-metre mammal could explode.

The 16-metre fin whale, which washed up on Fistral beach, Newquay is currently being cut up to prevent it blowing up in a “gassy mess”.

A post-mortem on the carcass is ongoing, with wildlife experts investigating its cause of death.

Due to its huge size, the whale had to be cut up with chainsaws after wildlife experts at Cornwall Wildlife Trust raised concerns that the whale is at “high risk of blowing up” which would be “very gassy and messy”.

Gases accumulate in the carcasses of dead whales, which can often cause them to explode.

The post-mortem being carried out will both help identify the cause of death and also let out these gases in order to prevent an explosion from occuring.

Local residents have been warned to stay away from the beach, with police cordoning off the area.

The whale has been identified by experts as a fin whale, which is the second largest animal in the world, after the blue whale.

On average, fin whales measure between 70 and 73 feet long, and a whopping 45 tons.

This fin whale, which has been identified as a female, looks “quite unhealthy”, according to marine data officer Anthea Hawtrey-Collier.

“It’s quite a skinny animal and there have been parasites seen on it…which usually indicate poor health”, she told the BBC.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Abby Crosby said that “it was a shock to wake up to but it does happen.”

“What’s really important now is finding more about the whale and why it died so we can try and learn from it.”

The whale was first discovered by Mr Barber, who expressed he was “blown away” by the animals’ mass size.

This is the second fin whale to wash up in Cornwall this year, with divers finding one washed up dead on Cornwall’s south coast in January.

Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall police, the coastguard and the RNLI are all working together to remove the whale, which will require specialist machinery.

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