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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

With the very real prospect of Iceland's only fin whale hunter, Kristján Loftsson sending boats...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Long-finned pilot whale

Fishermen in Norway eat pilot whale after entanglement in net

According to local reports, fishermen in Norway ate meat from a long-finned pilot whale after...

Post mortem carried out after orca strands in Shetland

A team from the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme have carried out a post mortem on a female orca that was found stranded on a beach on the island of Linga in the Shetland Islands last week.

Such events are unusual so it provided a rare opportunity to find out more about the species. The body was moved to Shetland where the team carried out their work yesterday. Initial results indicate that the orca as a 5.20 metre female who had recently been pregnant. She was found to have a prolapsed uterus and most likely lost her calf. While she was probably alive when she stranded, it was also discovered that she was suffering from an infection throughout her abdomen, stomach, kidney, liver and intestines. Further tests will now be carried out on samples taken to find out more about her general health and other important facts such as pollution levels in her body.

While little is known about the orcas that visit Scotland, one group was identified last year as having been seen in Iceland just a few weeks before. There is also one small population of orcas, consisting of just 8 surviving members, known to reside off the west coast of the British Isles.

What do to if you find a stranded whale or dolphin

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.