The authorities of the Swedish island of Öland have warned citizens and tourists not to approach the carcass of a beached whale that “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 Wednesday morning, urging them not to wade through the water or approach the body “under any circumstances.”
“People are reported to be staying close to the body of the dead whale that has floated ashore in southeastern Öland,” a statement said Tuesday.
“This is dangerous for the individual … and can cause harm.”
Since learning of the beached whale last week, Mörbylånga officials have been taking samples to find out how to treat the carcass.
“When the authorities work on the whale, they do it with protective gear and helmets,” said Staffan Åsén, Mörbylånga municipality’s environmental officer.
“Right now 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 meters from shore, just outside the town, which has fewer than 2,000 inhabitants.