5 sperm whales stranded on Dutch beach die

SPH Brightcove Video
Investigators are trying to establish the cause of death of five sperm whales that beached themselves on an island off the Netherlands coast.
People take pictures of a sperm whale on the island of Texel, The Netherlands, on Jan 13, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Five sperm whales which became stranded on a Dutch beach have died, officials said on Wednesday (Jan 13).

"Experts found that the whales died during the night," Ms Marian Bestelink, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, told AFP.

"We are going to investigate why they beached and then we will remove them," Ms Bestelink said, adding that the process would probably take several days.

The animals became stranded on Tuesday on a beach on Texel, an island off the north-west Dutch coast.

Experts said the beached whales had already been badly injured and their chances of survival were poor.

Volunteers tried to save them but called off their efforts late in the night because of bad weather and darkness, ANP news agency said.

The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, and the largest toothed predator. It can measure up to 20m long and weigh over 50 tonnes.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.