#MarineWildlife - Following Friday's news of a rare whale sighting off the continental shelf, BBC News reports on a sadder whale story in Co Antrim, as a juvenile Sei whale died after it was was found beached early yesterday (14 September).
The deep ocean whale, said to be "incredibly rare" in Irish waters, was discovered on the sand beside Red Bay pier near Waterfoot on the North Antrim coast.
Despite being at least 8.5 metres long, it was still only a calf, "so the likelihood is that it would have still have been attended by its mother" before it got lost in the shallows, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Ian Enlander.
Sadly, refloating the whale was not an option as it was stuck deep into the soft sand, and it died before a vet could attend. It's expected that an autopsy tomorrow will shed some light on the cause of death.
The upsetting news comes seven years after the last Sei whale seen in the region, a 10m juvenile that was euthanised after swimming into Larne Lough and beaching. That had been the first recorded stranding of the species in Ireland since 1914.