Stranded Danish whale dies

June 21, 2010
A fin whale is seen stranded in a shallow fjord on the western coast at Vejle on the western coast of Denmark Wednesday June 16, 2010. Officials say a fin whale is stranded in a shallow fjord on the western coast of Denmark and is fighting for its life. Marine biologist Carl Christian Kinze says the 50-foot (15-meter) whale is unable to move and could be stuck on its belly. It is not known if the animal is ill or disoriented. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Benny F. Nielsen)

(AP) -- A fin whale that was stranded in a Danish fjord for days has died and scientists were trying to pinpoint the cause, they said Monday.

A team of veterinarians, natural science experts and students have dissected most of the 58-foot (17.6-meter) whale, which died Sunday, Joachim Engel of Denmark's Natural History Museum said. Scientists will analyze its heart and other organs to establish the cause of death.

"That is what they will be trying to find out, whether it was sick. We don't know," biologist Anders Kofoed said.

The team dissected the animal on a pier in the Vejle Fjord, 135 miles (220 kilometers) west of Copenhagen, where the animal had been stranded since Wednesday.

During the examination they discovered that the 24-ton baleen whale was male and not a female, as earlier reported. It is believed to be three to four years old.

(This version corrects details given by officials, including sex and weight of whale.)

Explore further: Second ancient whale found in Italy


Related Stories

Second ancient whale found in Italy

April 2, 2007

The skeleton of a 33-foot-long prehistoric whale has been discovered in what was once an ancient seabed in Italy's Tuscany region.

Experts: Leave whale enough alone

August 3, 2007

Whale experts say that a young Minke now in a Scottish harbor should be allowed to decide for itself when to leave.

Biologists to euthanize beached whale

January 1, 2008

Marine biologists monitoring a sperm whale stranded at the mouth of Florida's Tampa Bay say euthanizing it is the most humane option.

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

A huge chunk of a tardigrade's genome comes from foreign DNA

November 23, 2015

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have sequenced the genome of the nearly indestructible tardigrade, the only animal known to survive the extreme environment of outer space, and found something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.