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15-tonne whale washed up on beach

17-metre-long fin whale was found on Friday in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the Camargue

A 15-TONNE whale has died after being washed up on a beach in the Camargue, near Marseille.

The 17-metre-long fin whale was found on Friday morning in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Bouches-du-Rhône.

Gendarmes believe the creature was washed ashore in the storms that have hit the region over recent days.

A meeting will be held on Monday to determine how best to clear the animal from the beach - either by sea or land, depending on the weather conditions.

#baleine morte échouée sur plage Est des Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Cétacé sans doute porté par #tempête— France Bleu Provence (@bleuprovence) November 7, 2014

It has been dead for too long for its body to be of use to scientific researchers.

Locals are being advised not to touch the whale - and fishing in the immediate vicinity is not recommended as a precautionary measure.

In an average year, three whales are washed up on the Mediterranean coast in France.

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