Two sperm whales have been found stranded 500 miles apart on Kenyan and Tanzanian beaches within two weeks of each other this month.
Such whale strandings are rarely reported in Kenya, and little in known about the 15 metre toothed sperm whale which was discovered stranded north of Malindi in Ngomeni at the beginning of October.
Its cause of death is unknown, although local fishermen suspect oil and gas exploration could be to blame, but this has not been confirmed. The second report of a stranded sperm whale took place two weeks later in Kilwa Tanzania.
17 whales, including occasional sightings from fishermen in recent years, have been recorded by the Kenyan Marine Mammal Network, a coalition of scientists and conservationists which collects sightings of all marine mammals.
Whales can become stranded if they are sick or injured. Strandings can even occur if the marine mammals become disorientated, which could be a result of oil and and gas exploration.
This was the suspected cause in the case of the mass beachings of Sperm whales in Germany which was reported by National Geographic earlier this year. Necropsies conducted on the animals revealed marine debris in their stomachs, including car parts.