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Second-largest whale found dead off coast of Belgium

The carcass was cut into pieces on the De Haan beach.

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Vets and assistants cut the body of the whale into pieces at the De Haan beach (Francisco Seco/AP)

Vets and assistants cut the body of the whale into pieces at the De Haan beach (Francisco Seco/AP)

Vets and assistants cut the body of the whale into pieces at the De Haan beach (Francisco Seco/AP)

A dead fin whale has been pulled ashore on Belgium’s North Sea coast.

Fin whales, which can weigh up to 45,000 kilograms, are the second-largest animal in the world.

The carcass was cut into pieces on the De Haan beach, with the meat carried off before it rotted further.

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The whale was found off the de Haan beach on the North Sea coast (Francisco Seco/AP)

The whale was found off the de Haan beach on the North Sea coast (Francisco Seco/AP)

AP/PA Images

The whale was found off the de Haan beach on the North Sea coast (Francisco Seco/AP)

It has been two decades since a similar whale was found on a Belgian beach.

Professor Thierry Jauniaux, of Liege University, said scientists will try to establish a cause of death.

He said the animal’s “fat is too low and the animal is suffering from emaciation. There is also evidence of some trauma”.

He said the whale could have been hit by a passing ship.

PA