An 18-metre whale has died after washing up on a beach in Orkney.
The fin whale, believed to be a young male, was found alive but in a poor condition on Echnaloch Bay, Burray, on Tuesday morning.
The whale died later that evening.
It is hoped that a post-mortem examination will be carried out on Thursday to establish the whale’s cause of death.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) sent a veterinary consultant and the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme also examined it.
The whale is believed to have had an underlying condition, which caused it to strand.
BDMLR co-ordinator for Orkney, Emma Nieave-Webb, said: “It’s really sad and really bizarre, we had one in the same place last year.
“We think it’s an adult male, we spoke to a specialist vet and they were all in agreement it was in such poor condition that unfortunately it was just a waiting game.
“There were a lot of people who came out to see it.
“There’s no way of putting an animal that size to sleep, in terms of drugs it’s just not possible.
“Shooting it could potentially be possible but ethically it could cause the animal distress, and we are so remote.
“There’s nothing else licensed we could use.
“It had come in at high tide and was initially reported as being entangled.
“There will be a full post-mortem hopefully to find out what happened.
“It will be taken to somewhere remote, it may well be towed somewhere.”
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