First stranded orca in nearly 20 years discovered near Norfolk

First stranded orca in nearly 20 years discovered near Norfolk

Published by Grace Mcgachy
6:18am 15th January 2020.

Experts are investigating the first confirmed stranding of an orca in England and Wales for almost 20 years.

The Zoological Society of London says the juvenile male killer whale became stuck in salt marsh in The Wash, between Lincolnshire and Norfolk. 

It's around 15-foot long. 


Orcas are a priority species for research by the charity, as they're treated as 'top predators'.

Experts are investigating the incident - the first confirmed stranding the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme has had in England and Wales since 2001.

The investigators will analyse samples for marine contaminants and use genetic analysis to determine which population the whale came from.

Its teeth have also been collected to accurately assess his age.

Experts said there was no evidence of recent feeding as its stomachs were largely empty.

The team found a large fragment of plastic in the first stomach but it had not killed the orca as the stomach was not blocked.

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