A stranded whale that was rescued off the Fife coast on Wednesday has been found dead just a day later.
The animal was discovered on Thursday morning, close to the original stranding site at North Queensferry.
It follows a successful refloating of the mammal by British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) around 24 hours earlier.
Rescuers had managed to direct the animal – believed to be a sei or fin whale – into deeper waters on Wednesday after it was spotted by locals less than 100m from the shoreline.
It had been hoped the whale would survive and experts hoped to keep an eye on its progress.
But a spokesperson for BDMLR confirmed the whale’s death on Thursday and said it may have been struggling to feed.
The spokesperson said: “Sadly, the sei whale which refloated on the tide yesterday at North Queensferry was found deceased this morning on the shore not far from the original stranding site.”
The whale measured some 12.8m in length, and rescuers had said it was distressed when first discovered.
It wasn’t unexpected that the animal would turn up again
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
The spokesperson added: “The whale was considered to be in only moderate condition when seen yesterday, so it wasn’t unexpected that the animal would turn up again.
“Sei whales are a pelagic species and could struggle to feed when out of their home range.
“The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme will investigate further to try and establish the cause of death.”
It was thought the whale may have been the same animal previously stranded at different points near Fife.