A whale, which beached Friday morning on a sandspit outside Dungarvan in Co Waterford, has died.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group had told the Irish Independent on Friday: “The spot where it strands will be its final resting place and where it will take its last breath, as there is no effective way of refloating an adult bull which can weigh up to 50 tonnes.”
"He's washed up and he's alive," said Andrew Malcolm, of the IWDG, when the whale was beached.
"It could take hours or more than a day for him to die. He is in a great deal of distress.
"He will die of starvation or from his own weight collapsing his lungs.
"It's an adult male and we think he's probably sick or has probably got some disease," he said.
A preliminary examination indicated that the animal could have been starving.
"He looks very thin. He could even have starved to death. He's not in the proper place for sperm whales and he could have just ended up somewhere where there was no food for him," said Malcolm.
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The whale was first spotted on Thursday off the coast of Wexford. The experts tracked the animal as it swam 100-miles along the east coast before it beached. The experts said they knew that something serious was wrong with the whale because it was swimming so close to land.
Said Malcolm: "It is extremely rare for this deep-sea animal to be seen on the east coast.
"They are usually spotted off the west coast but not near to the shore."
He said it was impossible to euthanize such a large animal in Ireland.
"It's hard to say how long it takes them to die.
"The only way to euthanise an animal that size is by using a product illegal in Ireland called Immobilien.
"You have to let the whale alone and just let nature take its course."