A WHALE, the length of a bus, has been found washed up in Shoebury.
Coastguards discovered the 35ft minke whale near East Beach, on the Ministry of Defence base in Shoebury yesterday.
Experts from the Natural History Musuem, London, arrived at the scene to inspect the mammal, usually found in waters off Canada, Iceland and occasionally Scotland.
It is believed to have died after being hit by a boat.
Coastguards received reports of the mammal, weighing up to ten tonnes, floating in the estuary on Monday afternoon. It was finally tracked down by 2pm yesterday.
A spokesman for Thames Coastguard said beached whales were very uncommon.
He said: “It’s certainly not a regular occurrence.
“It is sad that one has washed up.
“The whale came ashore after being killed by a vessel.
“The Natural History Museum took samples at 3pm and declared it didn’t pose a threat to the environment.
“It could have come from across the Channel or from the North Sea.
"Ships can interfere with their sonar.
"The whale is 35 ft long."
Law states that landowners must dispose of the carcass, however, without it posing an environmental threat.
The Ministry of Defence could leave it to decompose according to the coastguard.
Minke whales are of the baleen species – the largest living animals on earth.