In what must be a bizarre occurence, a young sei whale was found dead amid fields in northern England.
Experts have all but confirmed that the 33ft (10m) long animal, which died some 800m from the shoreline, was a female whale.
According to a report in the Herald Sun, the animal is believed to have become stranded by the receding high tide on the north bank of the Humber Estuary in East Yorkshire.
"It was in shallow water, of about 1.2m (4ft) to 1.6m (5.25ft), making contact with the bottom. When it gets in that situation it rolls onto its side and it can cover its blow hole. It is sad but we will be able to learn a lot from it," Andy Gibson, of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, reportedly told the BBC. He also added that such strandings were very uncommon, pointing out that there had been only three such incidents involving the same species, in the UK, over the last 20 years.
However, early this year, a fin whale (a species related to the sei) was found dead at Immnigham in early September. Worse still, yet another dead whale was recently spotted in the river mouth a few days ago; it has yet to wash up to the shore.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has admitted to recording an increase in the number of whales sighted so far in 2011. However, they are not sure why the number of these mammals in the North Sea is on the rise.