There was a rare and unhappy sighting on 3rd March of a sperm whale stranded at Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, Kent. The animal was confirmed dead early morning. At this stage the cause of death is unknown. This is an extremely rare event to see a sperm whale at this part of the coastline. These animals normally inhabit the deep waters of the North Atlantic feeing off the continental shelf edge, rarely venturing into the shallower waters surrounding the British Isles.
Despite this there have been a few sperm whale encounters in 2010 including a group of six or seven animals reported in the Moray Firth in October and in June and July there was the very unusual case of a sperm whale being seen repeatedly off Torbay, South Devon in extremely shallow waters. Luckily these animals did not strand to our knowledge.
Hopefully a post mortem of the animal in Kent will reveal more about what happened to this whale found in such an unusual setting.