Minnis Bay (UK), 2 december 2014 – A 118cm juvenile male harbour porpoise (national reference SW2014/457) was found live stranded at Minnis Bay in Kent on 2nd December last week. It was found entangled in monofilament fishing gear- members of public cut away the netting and BDMLR medics and vet attended on site to assess the animal. Unfortunately, the porpoise appeared to be too compromised to allow it to be refloated and it was consequently euthanased.
A CSIP team from ZSL examined the animal last Thursday and found that it was in moderate nutritional condition and had not fed for some time (bile staining found throughout the intestinal tract). Numerous netmarks were present on the tail flukes and some were felt to be moderately chronic in nature, indicating that the animal may have been entangled in the gear for some time. Extra-dural haemorrhage (haemorrhage between the skull and brain) was found around the brain, indicating that it had also received an impact to the head prior to death. The cause of death has been provisionally given as “acute physical trauma and entanglement”- follow up tests including bacteriology are pending. Many thanks to the team from BDMLR who helped retrieve the body for examination.