A dead minke whale has been washed up on the Teeside coast with people being told to stay away from the area until it is removed.
Walker Fiona Rowbotham raised the alarm on social media after seeing the giant mammal on the beach at Redcar on Tuesday evening, reported Teeside Live.
She wrote: “Some kind of big shark or whale washed up down the Gare. Just be careful anyone walking dogs down there.”
A spokesperson for Humber Coastguard confirmed it was a minke whale and thought to be up to 12 metres long.
The whale was later confirmed as deceased by British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
A medic was in attendance with HM Coastguard and police.
It is reported the authorities need to wait for the whale to officially beach before conducting an investigation.
The Humber Coastguard spokesperson said: “We believe it’s about ten or 12 metres in length it is deceased.
“It’s about 40 metres into the water and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue are doing some measurements and observing.
“They have informed the council and finding someone who can deal with the carcass.
“I think the mammal medic will be checking for any injuries or any markings to see why it had washed up but unfortunately they just do wash up but they’ll be looking for any injuries but there doesn’t seem to be anything untoward.”
Last month an injured minke whale calf had to be put down after becoming stranded in the Thames in London.
Fears for the whale grew after the injured calf headed in the wrong direction – away from the sea – and it faced a struggle for survival in the Thames, where nutrition is much more meagre than it its natural habitat in the north Atlantic.
The size of the whale, estimated to be around 4.5m suggested it was still maternally dependent and couldn’t be put back out to sea.
The common minke whale is the smallest of all baleen whales, reaching eight or nine metres long. The whales prefer cooler temperatures and enjoy a varied diet of krill and schooling fish, according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group.