Sperm whales wash up on English beach

Story highlights

  • Three sperm whales washed up on a beach in eastern England
  • Scientists believe they got disoriented while looking for food
  • A week before a dozen sperm whale washed ashore on German and Dutch beaches

(CNN)Three sperm whales washed up on a beach in eastern England over the weekend, just a week after a dozen animals of the same species washed ashore on German and Dutch beaches.

The mammals, about 15 meters (48 feet) long, are believed to be part of the same pod as a young whale that died on Friday a few miles away.
Experts believe they may have washed ashore while hunting. "These are deep water animals, which usually live in pod of 20 or 30 individuals. They probably got disoriented while looking for food and ended up in shallow waters," Peter Evans, director of Sea Watch Foundation, a charity that coordinates sightings around the UK coast, told CNN.
    In such shallow waters, he said, these giant animals are likely to suffer from organ damage and other injuries. He added that the beached whales are probably just a few years old.
    "We believe that the three whales at Skegness died at sea and then washed ashore," coastguard Richard Johnson told Agence France-Presse.
    Many people gathered on the beach, and the carcasses were cordoned off to prevent bystanders from touching them, according to media reports. However, graffiti, including the CND logo, had been scrawled on at least one of the carcasses.