A major operation is underway on the La Rada beach in Estepona to remove the carcas
© Backgrid
A major operation is underway on the La Rada beach in Estepona to remove the carcas
A 40ft whale has washed up on a beach in southern Spain in a sad and rare phenomenon.

The marine mammal - which is a fin whale - is thought to have beached itself after becoming injured.

Crowds gathered on the La Rada beach in Estepona to see and take pictures of the carcass.

Jose Luis Mons, from the Centre for the Recovery of Marine Species, told The Olive Press: 'It is not common to find whales stranded here on the beach, but tragically it does happen on some occasions.



'Of course, in most cases the whales are already dead.'

The centre added the female whale's body is 'in an advanced state of decomposition' as she died some days ago.

Estepona Council confirmed a major operation is underway to recover the carcass.

A post-mortem will then be carried out by marine biologists and other experts to determine the cause of death.

The fin whale, according to the WWF, is the second largest mammal in the world next to the blue whale.

They have a distinct ridge along their back behind the dorsal fin, which gives it the nickname 'razorback'.

Another very unusual feature of the fin whale is that its lower right jaw is bright white, and the lower left jaw is black.

They grow up to 80ft long and are an endangered species, with around 50,000 to 90,000 of the mammals existing worldwide.