Orca Calf Found Dead After It Was Blown On Land By Storm

It's easy to worry about humans in the middle of horrifying natural disasters, but don't forget that animals are subject to the cruel whims of nature too.

The body of a young killer whale has been found on a Shetland shoreline weeks after a storm battered the coast of Scotland.

The young killer whale calf is believed to have been blown ashore by Storm Caroline whose terrifying winds reached over 90mph.

Credit: Deadline News

A spokeswoman for the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary - the island's only rehabilitation centre for wild animals - said: "It's very sad. We think it was thrown up onto the shore during Storm Caroline while it was still alive.

"There's not any breeding pods around the Scottish shorelines other than around Shetland and the Norway coastline, so it's very sad to see such a young male."

The whale, which was three metres long, was discovered by a member of the public on the west coast of Shetland's main island at least 25 metres inland.

The whale wasn't spotted until a week after the storm. Hillswick said that the orca had most likely been separated from its mother and its pod by Storm Caroline.

The sanctuary reported the beaching to the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMAS) who carried out a post-mortem on the whale.

The whale, estimated to have been around two or three years old, is believed to have died of dehydration after it was beached.

The animal rescue centre wrote in a Facebook post: "On Thursday we were called out to find a second dead killer whale washed up on Shetland's coastline this year.

"This week we came across this juvenile male in Eshaness, washed a long way up the banks by Storm Caroline a week earlier.

"Very sad, as it was one of Shetland's young orcas, and there aren't many young orcas in Europe, let alone the UK.

"We took samples for Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme who are hoping to carry out a full autopsy to establish the cause of death."

This is not the only orca to have died off the coast of Scotland in 2017. Earlier this year a female orca named Lulu died after getting caught in a rope on the Isle of Tiree.

Researchers found Lulu had one of the highest pollution levels ever recorded of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a chemical which has been banned since the 1980s.

Featured Image Credit: Deadline News

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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