A marine life charity desperately tried to save an injured porpoise washed up on the Yorkshire coast.
The mammal was discovered in a distressed state on North Beach in Bridlington by foreshore officers on Sunday.
Four volunteer medics from the charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue, which specialises in caring for stranded whales, dolphins and porpoises, were sent to the bay and realised that the juvenile male had suffered extensive injuries to its tail.
The team stabilised and treated the porpoise, who had been in good health prior to the incident.
However, his injuries proved too severe for him to be released into the wild and he was euthanised on the beach by a vet.
The porpoise's carcass will be collected by the Zoological Society of London, who will perform an autopsy to establish the cause of its injuries and the stranding.
The charity have thanked members of the public who kept dogs away from the animal.
"In many cases we can get porpoises back into the water, but they are incredibly sensitive to noise, which sadly means they can die from shock quite easily, and getting them back out in the sea is more challenging compared to dolphins. Sadly there are no facilities in the UK for treatment or rehabilitation, which is where BDMLR come in. We have special equipment which means many animals who wouldn't have a chance of survival are able to be released," said BDMLR medic Emily Mayman.
Porpoises are fairly common along the North Sea coast, but can be bullied by other mammals such as dolphins due to their small size.
What to do if you find a stranded marine mammal
- If you find a distressed seal, whale or dolphin anywhere in the UK ring BDMLR on 01825 765546 immediately
- Keep dogs and people clear of the scene
- Don’t approach a seal or put it back in the water, as they are capable of living on land. Be aware that although seals look cute, they can inflict nasty bites.
- If you find a porpoise, dolphin or a whale, keep the animal upright, keep it wet but avoid putting water down its blowhole.
- Avoid contact with the mammal’s breath as this can contain harmful pathogens.