A 13 m sperm whale died on Wednesday after running aground on a beach in Belgium, said the Royal Institute of Natural Science in the country.
The whale ran aground near Zeebrugge, near the resort of Knokke-Heist, and his death was announced by experts in the early afternoon, after spending hours of pain, wound on the beach, according to Jan Haelters of the Institute.
Hundreds of concerned local residents gathered in hopes of helping her, but were stopped by police. "It was very sad to see," said one, Jerome Van Mechelen.
Belgian beached whales in the Strait about 60 km (40 miles) from the North Sea are rare, because of shallow waters and an intense movement of ships. The last two known cases occurred in 2004 and 1994, said the National Institute news agency Belga