Stranded striped dolphin

The striped dolphin found at Brei Wick on Thursday. Photo Juan Brown

A RARE dolphin stranded on a Shetland beach on Thursday after being seen the previous day swimming nearby.

The striped dolphin was found washed up on the beach at Brei Wick north of Dales Voe above Lerwick.

Scottish Natural Heritage operations officer Juan Brown said the creature was very fresh when it was found, so it was assumed to be one of the two dolphins seen swimming in Dales Voe on Wednesday.

Striped dolphins are extremely rare this far north with only five records in Shetland, all of which have stranded. They are normally found in tropical and temperate waters, where they are far more common.

The dolphin has been sent off to the Scottish mainland for a post mortem to determine the cause of death.