Dead dolphin left to decompose on Long Rock beach
A dead dolphin which washed up on the shore at Long Rock beach has been left decomposing there for almost a week.
One beachgoer was left shocked after discovering the state of the animal which had been washed up against the sea-wall.
Paul Govan, from Mousehole, who spotted the animal, said: "It was a site, it was smelling- no one wants to see that. It's such a lovely creature it's just very undignified. Why they don't remove I don't know."
Marine Strandings Network (MSN), which records information on beached marine animals, confirmed the common dolphin had been reported to them on Wednesday October 2, when a team of volunteers went to the beach to investigate.
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Volunteers took measurements and photos of the creature and tagged the dolphin to show that it had been assessed.
However the dead creature was not removed from the beach and was still there at the weekend.
Abby Crosby, marine conservation officer, said: “MSN sent trained volunteers out. Once they have done the recording they inform the beach owner and they have the responsibility to remove it. It could be a public health hazard.”
Cornwall Council, who own Long Rock beach, were informed about the dead mammal but have yet to comment on the incident.
Ms Crosby said that some beach owners will choose to leave the carcass to fully decompose or be swept back out to sea, rather than have it removed.
She said it was not uncommon to see cases like this, as Cornwall currently accounts for a third of all UK dead dolphin strandings a year.
“There are many reasons why these animals strand here. Some die of natural disease or as a result of an accidental by-catch. We have been working for many years now with the fishing industry, trying to prevent that from happening,” she added.
MSN record details of any animals which have been washed up on beaches around Cornwall.
To report a stranding a 24-hour hotline is in place, call 0345 201 2626.