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Baby whale found on Tiree beach

Last modified: 17 June 2015

Proposed site for development at Holm Bay near Killyleagh

Image: Andy Hay

The calf of a pilot whale has been washed up on a beach on Tiree. A local resident reported the whale to RSPB Scotland yesterday. The baby whale is thought to have been stillborn and is possibly related to the group of whales that became stranded in Skye earlier in June. 

RSPB Scotland Conservation Officer, Andy Robinson, said, “It’s quite difficult to identify whale calves, but we think this a pilot whale, possibly related to one of the whales that became stranded in Skye earlier this month.

“It’s such shame to see this little whale lying lifeless on the beach. We can only hope that its mother was one of the whales that made it to safety and will be around to breed again.”

RSPB Scotland Marine Policy Officer, Allan Whyte, said, “The variety of wildlife around Scotland is staggering, so it’s such a shame when things like this happen. Thanks to the Scottish Government we will soon have well managed Marine Protected Areas, which will give marine wildlife the chance to thrive and people the opportunity to get to the coast or out on a boat to see whales, dolphins, seabirds and all the other amazing wildlife in their natural habitat.”

Long-finned pilot whales are found around the coast of Scotland and across the northern Atlantic Ocean. They can sometimes be seen forming pods of hundreds of individuals but usually travel in pods of 10-20 animals with more females than males. It is thought that because of their strong group cohesion, they are one of the most common species to mass strand.

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