A humpback whale was found dead on Wednesday on a beach along the Mediterranean in southern France, in what experts said was a rare incident.
"As soon as we arrived, it was already dead," said Elodie Sene, a caretaker at an aquarium in the town of Grau-du-Roi.
"I've never seen anything like this, it's the first time I see this in the Mediterranean," she added.
The seven-meter-long (23-foot)animal was evacuated from the beach at Carnon, near the seaside town of La Grande-Motte, and was to undergo an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Humpback whales are not usually found in the Mediterranean Sea where fin whales are more common.
For several weeks now, attention has focused on a starving grey whale lost in the Mediterranean, far from its natural habitat in the Pacific ocean.
The whale, some eight metres long (26 feet) and around 15 months old, had already been seen off Morocco in March, and then again in Italian waters, first near Naples, then Rome and then Genoa.
It was last seen several days ago off the coast of Majorca, Spain.