Warning: Distressing Content
A huge injured whale has died after seeking refuge in a French port after bleeding from the blow-hole.
The sea was stained red as the 52ft whale, which had a graphic gash on the blowhole swam up alongside the port of Saint-Cyprien in the south of France, according to reports.
Rescuers tried to intervene to determine the cause of the injury, but nothing could be done. The whale sank to the bottom of the sea after dying in front of hundreds of onlookers.
It is thought to be a fin whale – which is the second largest species of whale after the blue whale.
Firefighters, vets and lifeguards were called to the scene as local officials considered what to do about the huge mammal.
The Mayor of Saint-Cyprien Thierry Del Poso, said:
Authorities were ordered to do nothing and wait for the movements of the whale.
The mayor said local officials were in contact with a team which specialised in helping stranded whales in Brittany to try and assist the animal before its death.
Hundreds of local people rushed to the scene to see the unusual sight of a large whale so close to land.
Sadly, the animal, clearly exhausted, was unable to fight any longer and the miracle recovery hoped for by onlookers would never materialise.
An operation is now being planned to remove the body of the whale which is blocking the entrance to the harbour.
Samples will be taken by marine biologists in an attempt to determine the cause of death.
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