The cetacean, a female of about 3.5 tons, died “probably drowned”, after fighting in the morning to regain the sea thanks to the rising tide, explained to AFP Jacky Karpouzopoulos, president of the CMNF.

This is a specimen of boreal hyperodon, a species of the beaked whale family, “great divers of deep and arctic waters” according to Thierry Jauniaux, specialist in marine mammals at the University of Liège (Belgium). ).

His body was brought back to the sand by the ebb tide in the early afternoon, after drifting about 3km, according to Mr Karpouzopoulos.

“Carrying abnormal stigmata”, she was “probably stranded by disorientation” in the night but, “very lively”, had succeeded, “while struggling with the energy of despair”, to return to the sea at the end of the morning. before succumbing, he detailed.

The stranding of this specimen of a boreal species is “exceptional. In 40 years of activity I had never seen this,” he added.

According to Mr. Jauniaux however, “other individuals from the same family have recently been stranded in Belgium and the Netherlands, which raises many questions”. The phenomenon can result from “pollution, the appearance of new diseases or activities at sea” which modify animal behavior, he explained.

When discovered in the morning on a beach in Sangatte, the cetacean had a bleeding wound in the head, noted an AFP journalist.

“These are superficial injuries, caused by the shock on the breakers” and not the cause of its grounding, according to the mayor of the commune Guy Allemand.

The whale was to be autopsied on site in the afternoon, before the intervention of a rendering team. The National Museum of Natural History in Paris wanted to recover his skeleton, said Mr. Karpouzopoulos.

In February, a 9.53 m female humpback whale was found dead, stranded, on a beach in Pas-de-Calais, between Calais and Marck, a phenomenon there too “exceptional” according to Mr. Karpouzopoulos.