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Young Shetland Writer 2018 - 1 June 2018

Orca washed up near Walls

| Written by Chris Cope

A photo of the washed up Orca on Friday morning. Photo: Mike Grundon A photo of the washed up Orca on Friday morning. Photo: Mike Grundon A DEAD orca has washed up on a beach on an island near Walls.

The marine animal was spotted at the uninhabited Linga on Thursday and Scottish Natural Heritage later confirmed that it was an adult.

Local manager Karen Hall said the organisation is keen to get samples from the whale to find out more about its death and to see if it was in a photo ID catalogue.

She said it was "quite unusual" to see a killer whale washed up on Shetland's shores as they are used to being near land.

Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) staff are interested in coming to Shetland from their base in Inverness to assess the orca.

The group said on Facebook: "It is in a fresh condition and SMASS is going to attempt to get to the island to do a necropsy and hopefully establish the cause of death.

"This is a unique opportunity to learn more about these important members of the marine ecosystem, however given its location it is going to be logistically challenging and at this point in time we are unsure whether we will be able to get to the island at all."


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