#MARINE WILDLIFE - The mystery creature washed up on a Co Clare beach last month has been confirmed to be a long-finned pilot whale, and not a narwhal as had been alleged.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the situation was a source of puzzlement for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) as the carcass was removed from Liscannor beach before their scientists could examine the remains.
Experts had been hoping to verify an eyewitness report that the carcass was indeed that of a narwhal, an Arctic cetacean renowned for its unicorn-like tusk. It would have been the first recorded sighting of a narwhal in Irish waters.
But RTÉ News reports that images sent to the IWDG confirm at last the identity of the animal as a long-finned pilot whale.
It marks the fourth reported stranding of a pilot whale in Co Clare and the 16th around Ireland this year alone.
The IWDG added that it was "always sceptical that the whale was a narwhal", and said Clare County Council did not deserve the criticism it received for removing the carcass over public health concerns.