30m whale lies rotting on Kerry beach

The decomposing carcass of a 14-tonne sperm whale still lay on a beach in the Dingle Peninsula yesterday.

Kerry County Council staff have inspected the scene at Fermoyle, near Castlegregory. A spokesman said the council was hoping the tide would return the 30m-long carcass to sea.

However, he said the council would remove it, if necessary.

The whale, washed in last week, is believed to have died at sea.

It is unusual for sperm whales, usually found in deep waters, to be washed up along the South-West coast. Pilot whales are more generally stranded along the Cork and Kerry coasts.

Local woman Sandra MacDonnell, along with her husband Ron and daughter Bláithín, were among the first to discover the dead whale among rocks on the beach last week. She believes the council should move it.

“It’s already very smelly at this stage and must be a health hazard. You would want to be wearing a face mask to go near it. Everyone is hoping the council will move it,” she said.

Upwards of 10 people were walking on the beach yesterday morning but, come the Easter break, there would be many more, she said.

The whale is lying on rocks at a part of the beach opposite an old school building.

Ms MacDonnell has contacted Whale Watch Ireland and the whale is believed to be female.

“We’ve been told these whales can live at a depth of about 3km in the ocean and they are a threatened species.

“They’re generally found off the Azores, the coast of New Zealand and Norway. It’s very sad to see such a magnificent creature washed up like this.”


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