Three whales wash up on Donegal beach

Two adult and one juvenile Cuvier’s beaked whales wash up on Trá Mór in Dunfanaghy

Three Cuvier’s beaked whales have washed up in Donegal. File photograph: iStock

Three Cuvier’s beaked whales have washed up in Donegal. File photograph: iStock

 

Locals in Co Donegal have been left shocked after three whales were washed up on one of the country’s most scenic beaches.

The three large carcasses washed up on Trá Mór in Dunfanaghy, and are believed to be that of two adult and one juvenile Cuvier’s beaked whales.

One of the whales measures around 1.82m and two of them measure 3m.

One of the beached whales at Trá Mór beach at Dunfanaghey in Donegal. Photograph: Joe Boland
One of the beached whales at Trá Mór beach at Dunfanaghey in Donegal. Photograph: Joe Boland

Two of them have a number of scarring around their bodies. Scarring is common on the heads of such species of whales because of fighting amongst competing males.

It is understood the whales may have been washed up on the beach a number of days ago.

One woman walking the beach said “It was such a sad sight. We’ll probably never know how they died.

“It was bad enough to see one but when I came across a second and then a third in just a few hundred yards of each other I was almost in tears.

“It’s a beautiful, peaceful beach and you just don’t expect to see such a horrible scene on it.”

Trá Mór in Dunfanaghy was named in the top 10 Irish beaches by the Lonely Planet guide this week.

The beach is only accessible by foot over sand dunes and stretches for around three kilometres.

Donegal County Council has been alerted to the discovery.

However, it is uncertain if the creatures will be allowed to wash out to sea naturally because of the inaccessibility of the beach.

Burial of such huge carcasses is no longer allowed.