Beard’s photo:

A beaked whale found dead Friday on a beach on Texel’s Wadden Island may be one of three stranded in shallow waters off the coast of Zandvoort this summer, Wadden said. Center Eko Mare said.

Bathers were able to release the animals back into the sea, but a woman’s attempt to board one of the whales may have exacerbated the precarious situation.

The woman then turned herself in to the police. It is not yet clear if her actions will lead to prosecution.

The 4-meter-long female was found dead by a pedestrian for several days. The whale was transferred to Utrecht University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, where scientists will try to find out more about the whale’s health just before it died.

Beaked whales hunt in the relatively shallow waters of the North Sea and often get into trouble. The undulating seabed also interferes with the bio-sonar systems that allow it to locate prey, which are beached around the same time in places such as Zandvoort and Westdyne, Belgium.

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