A dead whale which was lying in shallow water at Joppa attracted crowds of onlookers earlier today, all anxious to get a glimpse of one of the giants of the sea. The poor animal had clearly come to grief in some way as its injuries show. One theory is that it was hit by a propeller out at sea.
We must warn you that some of the photos below may cause you distress, although that is not our intention. We were not left unmoved by the sight of the stricken animal. It was a very chilling thing to witness and the mood among the crowd who had gathered was quite muted.
An onlooker told The Edinburgh Reporter that he had been along to see it earlier in the day around noon and that in the last couple of hours the whale had moved about 400 yards with the incoming tide towards the rocks near the Rockville Hotel. When we saw it the tide was on its way out again, and it did not look as though it would be moving any time soon. The first report of a sighting was made just after 5.00 this morning.
Local councillor Maureen Child reflected that mood and said:-“A sad end for one of an amazing species of a sea mammal, which we very rarely get the opportunity to see. It certainly was a draw down to Eastfield and an intriguing mystery how it got to wash up on our shores. Plenty of speculation and chat on Twitter and Facebook too today.”
Scottish Animal Welfare were in attendance along with HM Coastguard and Police Scotland who had already put up some tape across the rocks to keep any intrepid members of the public away from the animal.
Bernard Hunter Crane Hire had been called in to move the animal but a representative from the company said to The Edinburgh Reporter that it would be impossible to put a crane in the water where the whale was situated at that time, and it would have to be moved along to Leith for the company to get a sling around it and haul it out of the water. He estimated that the weight would exceed 20 tons.
The council through their East Neighbourhood Team are leading the recovery operation and they have issued the following information on Twitter:-
— East Team (@east_team) January 11, 2014