A 26ft (8m) minke whale has been put down after it stranded on a North Sea beach on Wednesday.

Experts from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDLMR) charity went to its aid when it was found in Druridge Bay, Northumberland, at around 7am.

A vet was also called out and the whale was assessed as being too thin to be returned to the sea.

Veterinary surgeon Sam Prescott said: "I received a call saying someone had found a whale stranded on the beach.

north sea whale

The whale was judged to be 'too thin' to go back into the sea

"Others had ascertained that it wasn't going to be viable for a refloat and so the most humane thing to do was going to be euthanasia.

"Myself and other vets have now done that and it's now a case of salvaging the whale and making it available for post-mortem.

"We don't know yet what's caused it. It's an adult whale and its condition is not fantastic and it may well have been sick prior to stranding.

north sea whale

The minke whale had to be put down on the beach

"I've not encountered a minke whale stranding in this area at all before."

Earlier, BDMLR operations director Stephen Marsh said that they would not attempt to refloat the whale.

"It is too thin, it hasn't got any muscle on it at all, and the last thing we do is put an animal back in the sea that's likely to suffer and come back again," he said from the charity's headquarters in Uckfield, East Sussex.

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