A minke whale which washed up on a North Mainland beach is believed to have died after becoming entangled, possibly in waste plastic.
The well-decomposed body was discovered early this morning on Sandwick beach at Hillswick.
Pete Bevington from Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary said the 5.5m corpse had “obviously been in the sea for quite some time”.
It was discovered by Derek Robertson who was on his way to work. He alerted the sanctuary and Mr Bevington took measurements and photos to pass on to the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme.
Mr Bevington said there was a notch on the whale’s tailstock which indicated the animal had probably been entangled. This, he said, was the main cause of death for minke whales.
He added that it was “devastating” to think that human waste had caused the animal’s death.