Whale dies after ten days lost in Danish harbour

A ten-metre long whale, which has been swimming in the harbour off the Jutland town of Hobro since November 27th, was found dead on Friday afternoon.

Whale dies after ten days lost in Danish harbour
Kayakers view the whale at Hobro on November 27th. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The whale was freed by passers-by who jumped into the water to help it after becoming stuck in the harbour last week. It has since been swimming in the area and local people had put together a plan to help guide it back to the sea.

But it was found dead on Friday afternoon, Ivar Høst, a consultant with the Danish Nature Agency, confirmed.

The animal was found at Ørnedalsbugten, an area of the Mariager Fjord waterway that travels from Hobro to the Kattegat sea, Høst said.

The unhappy ending to the whale’s story did not come as a surprise, according to Høst.

“It was only a question of time before things ended badly for it,” he said.

Høst said he would travel to the bay to assess how to remove the aquatic mammal from the water – a potentially challenging task, given it is located a distance from the shore of the shallow-water area.

“It’s a large animal to have to move. We don’t yet know how we are going to get to it,” he said.

The nature consultant added that he hoped to be able to recover the animal so that more could be learned about the sei whale, the subspecies to which it belongs.

“We want to recover it so we can carry out an autopsy and research,” he said.

“That could help us learn about sei whales and why this individual died,” he said.



Danish scientists to dissect humpback whale at aquarium parking lot

Researchers from Danish universities and the Natural History Museum are to participate in dissection of a humpback whale in Hirtshals.

Danish scientists to dissect humpback whale at aquarium parking lot
The whale after being brought to Skagen harbour. Photo: Scanpix

The seven-metre-long whale was found in a fisherman’s nets off Skagen on Monday and will be dissected in the parking area outside the North Sea Oceanarium in Hirtshals, the aquarium confirmed to local media Nordjyske.

Biologists and other experts are set to participate in the dissection and testing of the whale, which they hope will provide valuable new information about the animal’s interior.

Investigations will also include testing of a parasite found inside the dead whale.

Dissection will begin at 11am on Wednesday. The public is invited to come and watch the procedure, which will begin with around an hour's study of the animal's exterior before dissection begins, Nordjyske reports. 

The whale has been stored at low temperature since being brought to land at Skagen on Monday.

In addition to North Sea Oceanarium marine biologists, experts from the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg and from the University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University will take part in the investigations.

A taxidermist from the Natural History Museum will also be present.

READ ALSO: Whale dies after ten days lost in Danish harbour