A humpback whale who made international headlines after being freed from illegal netting off Mallorca on May 20, has died off the Valencia coast.

The 12-metre long whale was spotted in difficulty in shallow waters off Tavernes de la Valldigna beach on Thursday.

It washed up dead on Friday with Valencia’s Fundacion Oceanografic retrieving it, with plans for an autopsy to determine what caused it to die.

Humpback Washed Ashore
WHALE ASHORE(Tavernes de la Valldigna Ayuntamiento image)

Experts said it swam to the area with several cuts on its dorsal fin and was ‘extremely weak’ before it eventually died.

The whale’s state and size meant that trying to tow it out to sea was not a realistic proposition.

Jose Luis Crespo, head of Conservation at the Fundacion Oceanografic said: “Given its serious condition, the chances of a rescue were nil.”

“We would have caused it more injury and it still probably would have run aground on the beach.”

The whale was saved by divers last Friday after getting entangled in illegal fishnets two kilometres off Cala Millor in Mallorca.


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