Scientists to study Climping dolphin carcass

Stunned seven-year-old, Eddie Baird, stands by the carcass of a dolphin
Stunned seven-year-old, Eddie Baird, stands by the carcass of a dolphin

BEACHCOMBERS in Climping were in for a shock on Monday (January 24) – when they discovered a dead dolphin on the shore.

The baby mammal was discovered by Climping farmer James Baird, who was strolling along the village’s beach, with his seven-year-old son, Eddie, at the time.

Mr Baird said he had been checking on the works to improve the beach’s flood defences when he stumbled on the short-beaked common dolphin. He said: “I was down at the beach checking how the Environment Agency was getting on with the shingle recycling and couldn’t believe my eyes. Eddie had an inset day off school so he had come with me.

“He was quite sad but fascinated at how smooth its skin was. Eddie asked loads of questions and studied the fins, sharp teeth and blow hole.

“There were no signs of any trauma and it had not been dead for very long.”

It follows little more than a week after the father-and-son duo unearthed a series of starfish washed up on the beach after the turbulent weather.

He added: “A very rare occurrence indeed – I’m sure a direct result of the recent storms. We felt very privileged to be able to get up so close to such a beautiful animal.”

The discovery was reported to the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, by Arun District Council. Arun, having liaised with the coastguard, sent out its cleansing contractors, Biffa, to collect the creature. A spokeswoman said the carcass was sent to the London Zoo for scientific study.