Authorities on the Swedish island of Öland have warned citizens and tourists not to approach the dead body of a beached whale which “may explode”.
The humpback whale carcass has been stranded near the southeast of the island since last week, near the small town of Mörbylånga.
The local municipality issued a strong warning to locals on Wednesday morning, urging them to not wade into the water and approach the carcass “under any circumstances”.
“People are reported to be staying close to the dead whale body that has floated ashore on south-eastern Öland,” a statement read on Tuesday.
“This is dangerous for the individual … [and] may cause harm”.
Since being made aware of the stranded whale last week, Mörbylånga officials have been taking samples to find out how to handle the dead body.
“When the authorities work at the whale, they do so with protective equipment and helmets,” said Staffan Åsén, environmental manager in Mörbylånga municipality.
“At the moment the whale is fermenting due to the decomposition process and may explode. These are great forces that should not be ignored.”
The whale is currently stranded just 40 metres from the shore outside the town, which has less than 2,000 inhabitants.