‘Inevitable’ that 45-foot sperm whale will strand on Scottish coast

The 45-foot whale was spotted in 10 metres of water in South Whiteness on Monday.

A citizen scientist has warned it is ‘inevitable’ that a giant sperm whale will strand on a beach after being spotted in shallow waters in Shetland.

Hugh Harrop, founder of Shetland Wildlife, said it is a “waiting game” for the whale to strand after being seen from the shoreline in no deeper than 10 metres of water at South Whiteness.

Footage of the 45-foot male whale was captured by a drone on Monday, where he can be seen coming up for air.

The animals are usually found in deep oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Shetland Police released a warning due to the close proximity of the whale, advising the public to find “safe viewing spots”.

Mr Harrop said: “The footage was taken on Monday when the animal was first seen close to the shore.

“Normally we would expect to see sperm whales 25 miles west of us, so it is incredibly rare to see one this close.

“In Shetland there has been four or five seen on record in the last 25 years.

“They normally live 800 metres off the continental shelf where they feed on squid.

“As the whale is currently in no more than ten metres of water, there is a big danger it could, and likelihood that it will, now strand given the depth of water it finds itself in.

“It’s a waiting game, given where we are at now.

“It’s almost inevitable that the animal probably will strand.”

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