Exceptional: beaked whale washes ashore at Ostend

The find is remarkable.  It’s half a century ago since this last happened.  The animal measures a staggering three metres.  It’s not yet clear why it was washed ashore in Ostend.

First reports spoke of a bottle nose dolphin beaching near one of the port’s dykes and that wouldn’t have been all that exceptional, but later marine biologists at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences received photos showing the animal was a beaked whale.

Beaked whales are not common in Flemish waters.  They are usually to be found in the deep waters of the Bay of Biscay.  Marine biologist Jan Haelters suggests the animal got lost and that’s how it ended up on the Flemish coast.

Ostend firefighters transported the dead whale to the Institute for Natural Sciences.  The whale is being taken to Ghent University today for further examination.