Rare Whale Washed Ashore


Cast Ashore at Saltfleet

The Sowerby whale, cast ashore at Saltfleet a few days ago, has now reached the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, under curious circumstances.

It was discovered by the look-out men, and when towed ashore was found to be 15 feet long and to weigh over a ton.

Station-officer Hemmings rang up the Museum, and the authorities then asked that the whale should be sent to London. The whale was loaded on a lorry and taken to Mablethorpe, and thence sent to the Museum.

Dr. W. T. Calman, director of zoology at the Museum, states that Sowerby’s whale is so rare that not more than three specimens have been reported to the Museum on British coasts in the last 15 years, “We have made plaster casts of its head, and all the flesh has been stripped off with the idea of setting up the skeleton. We did not make a feast from it,” Dr. Calman added, laughing, “as we did off one whale which was stranded off the coast some time ago and brought to us. That one was quite fresh, and when we stripped the flesh we all sat down to whale steaks, and very good they were, too. When the skeleton is prepared it will be set up in the Museum.

“This is not the first whale that has been brought from Mablethorpe by lorry. In 1926 a live whale was brought along the Great North Road from that town, but died on the journey from a burst blood vessel.

In November last 120 specimens of the false killer whale – a species that had not been seen for nearly 100 years were ashore in Dornock.

Source: Skegness Standard 8th February 1928

Sowerby's Beaked Whale resized


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