EXPERTS believe a 10 tonne common fin whale, which died on Mallorca’s Cala Millor beach at around 4am yesterday, may have been weakened by an infection before being struck by a boat.
The 15-metre long mammal shows signs of severe weight loss and severe external wounds.
Luis Parpal, leading the team of professionals carrying out a post mortem, told Spanish press that early indications suggest an infection, ‘toxicological or biological, it’s still unknown, had weakened the specimen, leaving it adrift’ and that ‘a boat later hit the whale causing the wounds’.
Parpal, manager of the Official Association of Pharmacists of the Balearic Islands (COFIB), explained the team wants to find out if there is an infection that affects cetaceans in general that could rule out toxicology caused by plastic or microbiology interference.
While a technician from the Palma Aquarium pointed out that lately there are ‘more cases of death than normal’, particularly in the northern part of Spain.
As such, the findings of the post mortem will be shared with centres across the country to try to determine the cause of the rise in strandings of this marine species.
An emergency tent has been installed on the beach and a large plastic canvas placed around the dead whale while the examination is carried out, and security forces are on site to protect the scene.
It is hoped scientists will be able to complete their investigation by Wednesday.