Mother and calf Northern bottlenose whales live-strand in Co. Sligo - UPDATE

14th May 2006 A mother and calf Northern bottlenose whale live- stranded in Co. Sligo. The mother died but the calf was refloated.

The IWDG were informed by Don Cotton on Saturday night that an adult whale and calf had live-stranded at Lissadell in Co. Sligo. The adult whale measured 5-6m in length.

By the time Don arrived at the scene the adult was dead. That night, the calf which was very active and apparently strong, was refloated. If it was still dependent on its mother then it is unlikely to survive and beaches are being checked around the area for its carcass.

This is the same site as a live striped dolphin stranding in 1999 and this is the second Northern bottlenose whale live stranding in 10 days. The average stranding rate for this species in Ireland is one every three years, so it is unusual to have two close together and unusual to have an adult and calf involved. There is no evidence to suggest the stranding event in Co. Kerry and Sligo are connected.

UPDATE - Calf found dead at Toberpatrick, near Dunmoran Strand on 19 May 2006