This film is part of Free

Whale in the Tamar

Whale stranded on the banks of the Tamar

Current affairs 1965 1 mins Silent

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Cetacean stranding is a common occurrence. Cetacea means large sea creature in Latin or sea monster in Greek, in this case a whale finds its way up the Tamar as far as the Lynher or St German’s River and the change in tide leaves it stranded. Whales are marine mammals but many can survive in freshwater. Reasons given for beaching may include disturbance from active military sonar.

This whale may have become stranded posthumously but some also die from dehydration or from internal organs being crushed under their own weight and others may even die from drowning if the rising tide covers the blowhole. The Natural History Museum has been recording stranded or beached cetaceans since 1913. In 1988 an outbreak of the phocine distemper virus caused the deaths of thousands of seals, which prompted a long standing programme to record the information on all cetaceans stranded or found dead around the UK. In 2000 several groups amalgamated into the UK Cetacean Strandings' Investigation Programme (CSIP).